The Capitol siege, that took place on Jan. 6, had thousands of Trumpists storming the Capitol building. Nevertheless, not all of rioters were from the nation’s capital city. Some of them took a trip to DC to take part in the deadly riots that left several people dead and many more arrested. And, for that, they needed a place to stay.
Paul, the Airbnb host in DC, thought his guest was not a rioter. The everyday guest was staying in his Columbia Heights home, about an hour away from the Washington Monument.But it took no time for Paul to notice he was hosting a pro-Trump extremist.
As per the New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, the woman from South Carolina, Melissa, told Paul she was coming through for a ‘history sight-seeing trip’. Paul was still fond in his thoughts that she was not part of it.
Paul was stil away from the thought of hosting rioters — The Airbnb host calls himself a supporter of American democracy generally — so, he made no comments about a thing.
But all that changed the morning of January 6, when Paul saw his guests heading toward the Capitol —heavily armed — and with their due MAGA flags. Paul was worried as the day passed by — several were killed and much more others were arrested —the rioters would return.
Paul was looking at his home’s camera when one of the guests returned home. The unidentified rioter said on the phone: ‘We stormed the Capitol, we got inside of it… Trump said we’re gonna march over to the Capitol Building… and we’re going to tell them what’s been happening. To be honest, they deserved it.’
After the deadly events, Paul headed to a friend’s house where he sent his footage to the FBI after getting no chance with Airbnb. The host hoped for the guests to be arreswted. Fortunately, the company has since confirmed it’s ‘suspended the guest pending a thorough investigation’.
He also left a strongly-worded review of his guests, which read:
When Melissa booked my Airbnb, she claimed it was for a ‘history sight seeing trip’ but instead she and her guests made history by participating in the most horrific attack on our democracy at the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.
She and her guests returned after the riot and bragged in front of my house, captured on my Ring doorbell, ‘I was there … I didn’t want to get involved as much as I did but to be honest they deserved it.’ A Capitol Police officer was murdered and four of the rioters lost their lives. I wouldn’t recommend renting to Melissa.
Later, Airbnb inexplicably granted Melissa’s request that the review be rescinded. He phoned the company, exclaiming: ‘How the f*ck are you gonna let her rescind her review when I have evidence of this person participating in an attack on the Capitol?’
Following the siege, Airbnb released a statement which read: ‘As we’ve learned through media or law enforcement sources the names of individuals confirmed to have been responsible for the violent criminal activity at the United States Capitol on January 6, we’ve investigated whether the named individuals have an account on Airbnb.’
It added: ‘Through this work, we have identified numerous individuals who are either associated with known hate groups or otherwise involved in the criminal activity at the Capitol Building, and they have been banned from Airbnb’s platform.’