Donald Trump claimed he only wanted the “loving crowd” to “show” but not “go in” to the Capitol at his Jan. 6 rally 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, just before rioters stormed the Capitol in a violent riot that left five dead.
He claimed the crowd had been “led into” the Capitol by police officers who “hugged and kissed” them — before appearing to slip out and admit that “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, walking, except he’s not drunk.”
Donald Trump claimed in an audio recording of a March interview that he only wanted the “loving crowd” to “show” but not “go in” at his January 6 rally. Trump at the rally where he told supporters to go to the Capitol and ‘fight’
Rioters cross a police barrier near the Capitol on Jan. 6. Trump claimed crowd was ‘led into Capitol’ by police officers ‘hug and kiss’ them
“I think it was the biggest crowd I’ve ever spoken to. It went from that point – which is almost at the White House – past the Washington Monument.
‘It was—and wide. And it was a loving crowd, by the way,” Trump said in the audio clip of the crowd gathered for his rally on January 6.
“There was a lot of love. I’ve heard that from everyone.
“A lot, a lot of people told me it was a lovable audience and you know it was a shame, it was a shame that, you know — they did.”
Trump claimed the Stop the Steal rally was “not necessarily my rally.”
“There were many people who spoke. They had meetings the night before, they had speakers all over town,” he said.
During the rally, Trump delivered the keynote speech to the crowd, where he continued to push his false claims that the election had been stolen and urged his supporters to fight.
He also repeated false claims that Mike Pence could undo the election results.
Moments later, the crowd stormed the Capitol to try to prevent the election from being certified, and some heard hunting for the vice president chanting “Hang Mike Pence.”
When asked by Leonnig what he hoped his supporters would do when he told them to go to the Capitol and “stop the theft,” Trump insisted he didn’t mean for them to “enter the building.” .
“I would have told them you were coming—don’t go in,” he claimed, adding later, “I mean, personally what I wanted is what they wanted.”
However, he claimed that the rioters were “led in by the police.”
Trump made the comments in an interview for the new book I Alone Can Fix It (above) by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker
“In all fairness, the Capitol Police have led people in,” he said.
“The Capitol Police Department was very friendly. You know, they were hugging and kissing. You can’t see that, but there’s plenty of tape on it.’
Footage from the riot shows police officers being attacked by the mob, with more than 150 officers injured on the day.
Five months later, in June, at least 17 were still unemployed due to injuries sustained in the attack.
In the audio, Trump went on to make false claims that the election was “rigged” and claimed without evidence that “thousands” of dead people and illegal immigrants voted.
“The election has been manipulated like never before,” he said.
“There is tremendous evidence. There is a great proof. Statistically, it wasn’t even possible that [Joe Biden] won.’
Rucker asked if Trump believed he needed “better lawyers” after dozens of his legal challenges for voter fraud 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 on Wednesday (above)
Host Anderson Cooper (with Leonnig and Rucker) said the clip was “like listening to drunk Nixon walking, except he’s not drunk”
“No, I needed better judges,” Trump replied.
He added that “the Supreme Court was afraid to pass it,” which left him “very disappointed.”
When asked what the Supreme Court was afraid of, Trump replied, “I think they thought it might be violent and maybe the other way around.”
He added: “Remember, they didn’t say we disagree, they said they wouldn’t handle the matter. I am 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 PostTrump said he was very “disappointed” with Pence for not trying to undo the election and said he is “not stuck” running with him in 2024.
Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 in a riot that killed five people
People take shelter in the home’s gallery as rioters break into the Capitol living room on Jan.
“I’ve always loved Mike and I was very disappointed, as were many Republicans,” he said.
In fact, Pence did not have the power to stop the certification of electoral college votes — something he made clear at the time in both public statements and conversations with Trump.
The new book I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year was released Tuesday and features several other reported conversations between White House officials.
It claims that Ivanka Trump spent hours trying to convince her father to call on the crowd to stop invading the Capitol.
She then spent “several hours walking back and forth” between her second-floor West Wing office and her father’s Oval office, trying to convince her father to call off the mob.
The book also claims that General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, feared Trump would stage a coup after his election loss.
Days before the riots, Milley said Trump was preaching “the gospel of the Führer” and that he and his deputies promised to resign en masse if given an order from Trump that was illegal or unconstitutional.