Donald Trump claims that he did not see on television the assault of a mob of his supporters on the US Capitol, despite the testimony of witnesses and multiple accounts from people in his administration that reveal that it was precisely what he did.
Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent for The New York Timessaid he pressed the former president with questions about his actions during the assault on a joint session of Congress as lawmakers met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“I hardly had the television on. It turned it on if there was something. Then I turned it on and saw what was happening,” he explained, according to Haberman, in an article he wrote for The Atlantic adapted from his book Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.
“I found out later and, in fact, at the last moment,” according to Trump. “I was in meetings. He was also with Mark Meadows and others. I wasn’t watching TV.”
But former White House officials have repeatedly testified before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack that then-President Trump was in the dining room next to the Oval Office and watched the event unfold on the TV broadcast. television.
General Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to then-Vice President Mike Pence, alleged that Trump and his aides were watching the assault unfold on television.
“I understand he was watching TV,” according to Molly Michael, a former executive assistant to the president.
When asked if the president got to see violent scenes from the assault on Capitol Hill, former White House counsel Pat Cipollone replied “yes.”
“All I know about that day is that he was in the dining room watching TV with relish like he used to do, ‘look at all the people fighting for me,’ and he would rewind the scenes to watch them again,” said Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff and press secretary for then-first lady Melania Trump, in an interview with CNN. “That’s what I know”.