Denver Riggleman, a former GOP lawmaker from Virginia and House Jan. 6 committee aide, wrote in his forthcoming book that his mom texted him saying she was “sorry you were ever elected” after the then-Republican lawmaker went on CNN to condemn QAnon.
Riggleman marketed his book as a behind-the-scenes look at the Jan. 6 investigation, and an excerpt provided to The Hill in advance of its Tuesday release reveals details on Riggleman’s relationship with his mother as he publicly raised concerns about former President Trump and right-wing conspiracy theories.
“What will it take to wake you up son….I love you so, but cannot stand by and listen to your elitist attitude and being praised by elitist journalist and democrats,” Riggleman’s mother texted him. “Congratulations you are now part of the swamp…I’m sorry you were ever elected…You are officially a politician…I have cried over you and my heart is broken by you.”
Riggleman wrote that the text came after CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewed him on Oct. 14, 2020, nearly two weeks after the Virginia Republican sponsored a resolution condemning QAnon that passed the House with 17 Republican “no” votes.
Riggleman’s book, which is titled “The Breach,” has reportedly drawn the ire of his former colleagues on the House Jan. 6 investigation, who do not want information to leak out about the committee’s work.
Beyond his work on the panel, Riggleman’s book goes on to detail a number of disgruntled messages between him and his mother.
“I knew my mom and I were not on the same page politically, but this is something else,” Riggleman wrote. “Any hope for a mostly normal relationship seemed dim. She was damn near disavowing me.”
The former Virginia congressman describes his mother in the book as being solidly Republican and religious.
Riggleman wrote that she kicked him out of the house after he abandoned his Mormon mission but they still stayed in touch afterward, and their relationship only improved when he unsuccessfully ran for Virginia governor in 2016.
He later won a House seat in 2018, only to lose the Republican nomination two years later as controversy grew over his officiating of a same-sex wedding and more moderate voting record.
In his final months in office, the former intelligence officer became an outspoken advocate against QAnon and Republican support for the conspiracy, including from Trump.
“My relationship with my mom made it through my break with her Mormon Church,” Riggleman wrote in his book. “I wasn’t sure if it could survive the Church of Trump.”
After their relationship soured, Riggleman wrote that he and his mom only reconnected when his sister’s health took a turn for the worse, but the former lawmaker said he never told his mom about his work on the Jan. 6 committee.
“If I can help even one person turn away from this fringe conspiracy culture or recognize Trump for the un-American grifter that he is, it would make everything worth it,” Riggleman wrote. “I’d be especially happy if that one person was my mom.”
Judy Kurtz contributed to this report.