Trump supporters near the US Capitol, on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Shay horse | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump told reporters that he wanted the same thing as members of the mafia during the violent January 6 Capitol riot: to undo the election of President Joe Biden.
“Personally, what I wanted is what they wanted,” Trump said of the rioters, according to an article Monday in Vanity Fair featuring an excerpt from the new book “I Alone Can Fix It,” by journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. from the Washington Post.
The former president downplayed the deadly violence at the Capitol that day, while repeating several lies and false claims about the integrity of the election, according to the article.
“They just came to show their support because I believe the election has been manipulated at a level that has never been manipulated before,” Trump told the two reporters during an interview at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in late March. .
“There’s a huge amount of evidence. There’s a huge amount of evidence. Statistically, it wasn’t even possible that” [Biden] won. Things like, if you win Florida and Ohio and Iowa, there’s never been a loss,” he said.
Trump also claimed in the interview that the Capitol Police Department welcomed mob members into the halls of Congress that day, greeting them warmly after thousands of his supporters showed up from a rally outside the White House where he had urged them on. to fight against the confirmation of Biden’s victory by Congress.
“In all fairness, the Capitol Police Department has led people in,” Trump said.
“The Capitol Police Department was very friendly. They hugged and kissed each other. You can’t see that. There’s plenty of tape on it,” he said in the article headlined, “‘I’m Getting the Word Out’: Inside the Feverish Ghost of Donald Trump Two Months After Leaving the White House.”
Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC, held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas.
Brandon Bell | Getty Images
The article notes that “Trump failed to mention the numerous accounts of horrific violence — that of a riotous mob pushing a police officer to the ground and later threatening to shoot him with his own rifle, or that of an insurgent who threw a flagpole into a others struck the chest of a police officer, or that of yet another officer who wept in pain as he was squeezed into a closing door.”
Trump, however, hinted at the violence sideways, albeit after speaking of the “loving crowd” during his rally before the Capitol riot.
“There was a lot of love. I’ve heard that from everyone. Many, many people have told me it was a loving audience,” Trump said, before adding, “It was a shame, it was a shame they did that.”
More than 500 people have been arrested in connection with the riot, which invaded the Senate Chamber, led then Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress to hide in safe locations, and disrupted a joint session of Congress for hours on end. was underway to confirm Biden’s victory.
Five people died in the riots, including Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick. More than 100 other officers were injured in the melee.
Members of the US Capitol Police try to fend off a crowd of supporters of US President Donald Trump as one of them tries to use a flag as a spear as supporters storm the US Capitol building in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.
Leah Millis | Reuters
Trump complained during his interview with the Post reporters about Pence and Barr’s failure to live up to his claims and take steps to keep him in office. Pence oversaw the joint session of Congress on January 6.
“The biggest fraud ever committed in this country was this last election,” Trump said in the interview. “It was manipulated and it was stolen. It was both. It was a combination and Bill Barr didn’t do anything about it.”
DC Police Officer Daniel Hodges
Source: DC Police Dept.
“If Mike Pence had had the courage to send it back to the legislature, I think you would have had a different outcome,” the former president said.
Trump also accused the U.S. Supreme Court, which has three judges he has appointed, for failing to adopt his campaign’s election claims.
“I needed better judges. The Supreme Court was afraid to pass it,” Trump said. “It [Biden’s win] the Supreme Court should have been reversed. I am very disappointed in the Supreme Court because they have done something very bad for the country.”
Trump also crushed other Republicans, as well as members of his own administration in the interview, including Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, former House Speaker Paul Ryan, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former US Ambassador Nikki Haley, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Debora Birx, the late Senator John McCain, Senator, Mitt Romney, Senator Ben Sasse and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
Trump called McConnell, whose wife Elaine Chao was Trump’s Secretary of Transportation, “a stupid person” for refusing to eliminate the Senate filibuster and failing to convince Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, to become a Republican. to become.
He also boasted of Mar-a-Lago’s seaside location, the size of one of its windows, and his four years in office. His press secretary handed reporters copies of a bound document titled “President Donald J. Trump’s 1,000 Achievements: First Term Highlights,” the article read.
Trump also suggested he was – and remains – unbeatable in an election against another living candidate.
“I think it would be hard if George Washington came back from the dead and he chose Abraham Lincoln as his vice president, I think it would have been very hard for them to beat me,” Trump said.
Correction: Trump’s press secretary handed reporters copies of a bound document titled “President Donald J. Trump’s 1,000 Achievements: First Term Highlights,” the article read. An earlier version misidentified the parties involved.