Will County Board member attended pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C.

Says in Facebook video she left before violence erupted at Capitol

One of the newest members of the Will County Board said in a Facebook video posted Wednesday that she was at a pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., before violence erupted at the U.S. Capitol.

Debbie Kraulidis, R-Joliet, who was sworn in last month as one of the newest members, posted a roughly five-minute video on her Facebook page Wednesday in which she described her experience in Washington.

In the video, she appeared to be in a building away from where the crowds gathered outside. She began by saying, “We’re all OK,” before telling what she saw.

“Basically it was a great day,” Kraulidis said. “The rally was amazing.”

She said there was “not one problem” among the thousands of people she encountered at the rally.

Kraulidis then said she did not know whether it was “frustrated patriots” or members of a far-left militant group who started the violence.

Still, she added, “Obviously I would never condone any violence or craziness.”

On Thursday, Kraulidis told The Herald-News that when she recorded the video, she was unaware of the extent of the violence at the capitol. She said “no one is a patriot that is causing violence.”

Kraulidis also said in the video she was at the rally “making sure that only legal votes were counted.”

While she said in the video she was “not here to debate my Democrat friends,” she repeated the false claim that there was massive voter fraud in the 2020 election.

“Are there frustrated people down here?” she said in the video. “Absolutely.”

On Thursday, Kraulidis said she still believes there was voter fraud and that it’s “just my opinion.”

In the video, Kraulidis said she made her way toward the Capitol but didn’t get that close because there were too many people and decided to return to her hotel.

She said in the Thursday interview that she was “speaking very fresh” in the video and hadn’t seen the violence that took place.

After being called for comment, Kraulidis said in a text message, “The attack on the Capitol was terrible and disturbing. I’m hoping those who were violent get caught and my prayers are with the families of those that lost a loved one.”

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.