Donald Trump claimed he only wanted the ‘loving crowd’ at his January 6 rally to ‘show’ but not ‘go in’ to the Capitol and insisted he would have won the election with ‘better judges’, in an audio recording of an interview back in March.
The former president told Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker ‘there was a lot of love’ at his rally moments before rioters stormed the Capitol building in a violent insurrection that left five dead.
He claimed the mob was ‘ushered in’ to the Capitol by police officers who were ‘hugging and kissing’ them – before he appeared to slip and admit ‘it was violent.’
Trump made the comments in an interview with Leonnig and Rucker at his Mar-a-Lago estate on March 31 for their new book I Alone Can Fix It.
The clip was released on CNN Wednesday night, with host Anderson Cooper saying it was ‘like listening to Nixon drunk, rambling, except he’s not drunk.’
Donald Trump claimed he only wanted the ‘loving crowd’ at his January 6 rally to ‘show’ but not ‘go in’ to the Capitol, in an audio recording of an interview back in March. Trump at the rally where he told supporters to go to the Capitol and ‘fight’
Rioters pull over a police barrier at the Capitol on January 6. Trump claimed the mob was ‘ushered in’ to the Capitol by police officers who were ‘hugging and kissing’ them
‘I think it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken before. It went from that point – which is almost at the White house – to beyond the Washington monument.
‘It was – and wide. And it was a loving crowd, too, by the way,’ Trump said of the crowd that gathered for his rally on January 6 in the audio clip.
‘There was a lot of love. I’ve heard that from everybody.
‘Many, many people have told me that was a loving crowd and you know it was too bad, it was too bad that, you know – that they did.’
Trump claimed the Stop the Steal rally ‘wasn’t my rally per se.’
‘There were a lot of people that spoke. They had rallies the night before, they had speakers all over the city,’ he said.
At the rally, Trump gave the keynote speech to the crowd where he continued to push his false claims that the election was stolen and urged his supporters ‘to fight’.
He also reiterated false claims that Mike Pence could overturn the election result.
Moments later, the mob stormed the Capitol to try to stop the election being certified, with some heard hunting for the vice president chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’.
When asked by Leonnig what he had hoped his supporters would do when he told them to go to the Capitol and ‘stop the steal’, Trump insisted he did not mean for them to go ‘in’ the building.
‘I would have said to them that you will show – not to go in,’ he claimed, later adding: ‘I mean, personally what I wanted is what they wanted.’
However, he claimed the rioters were ‘ushered in by by the police.’
Trump made the comments in an interview for new book I Alone Can Fix It (above) by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker
‘I mean in all fairness, the Capitol Police were ushering people in,’ he said.
‘The Capitol police were very friendly. You know, they were hugging and kissing. You don’t see that but there’s plenty of tape on that.’
Footage from the riot shows police officers being attacked by the mob, with more than 150 cops injured on the day.
Five months later, in June, at least 17 were still out of work due to injuries sustained in the attack.
In the audio, Trump went on to push false claims the election was ‘rigged,’ claiming without evidence that ‘thousands’ of dead people and illegal immigrants voted.
‘The election was rigged at a level like nothing has ever been rigged before,’ he said.
‘There’s tremendous proof. There’s tremendous proof. Statistically, it wasn’t even possible that [Joe Biden] won.’
Rucker asked if Trump believed he needed ‘better lawyers’ after dozens of his election fraud legal challenges were thrown out and even his own Justice Department concluded there was no evidence of widespread fraud.
The audio recording of the March 31 interview was played on CNN (above) on Wednesday
Host Anderson Cooper (with Leonnig and Rucker) said the clip was ‘like listening to Nixon drunk, rambling, except he’s not drunk’
‘No, I needed better judges,’ Trump replied.
He added that ‘the Supreme Court was afraid to take it’, which he said left him ‘very disappointed’.
When he was asked what the Supreme Court were afraid of, Trump replied: ‘I guess they thought that it would be violent maybe and it was violent the other way perhaps.’
He added: ‘Don’t forget they didn’t say we disagree they said were not going to hear the case. I’m very disappointed in the Supreme Court.’
Leonnig pointed out that Trump had appointed some of the judges.
‘I appointed them and I was very disappointed in them,’ he said.
In another audio clip, obtained by the Washington Post, Trump said he was very ‘disappointed’ with Pence for not trying to overturn the election and said he is ‘not locked in’ to running with him in 2024.
Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 in a riot that left five people dead
People shelter in the House gallery as rioters break into the House Chamber at the Capitol on January 6
‘I always liked Mike and I was very disappointed and so were a lot of Republicans,’ he said.
Pence in fact did not have the power to stop the certification of the electoral college votes – something he made clear in both public statements and conversations with Trump at the time.
The new book I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year was released Tuesday and contains several other reported conversations between White House officials.
It claims that Ivanka Trump tried for hours to convince her father to call on the mob to stop invading the Capitol.
She then spent ‘several hours walking back and forth’ between her second floor West Wing office and her father in the Oval office, trying to convince her dad to call off the mob.
The book also claims General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was concerned Trump would attempt a coup after his election loss.
Days before the riot, Milley said Trump was preaching ‘the gospel of the Führer’ and he and his deputies pledged to resign en masse if they were given an order by Trump that was illegal or unconstitutional.