Donald Trump wanted to march on the U.S. Capitol with his supporters on January 6 last year but was stopped by his Secret Service, the former president has claimed in a new interview.
Trump, who was impeached by the Democratic party led House of Representatives over his alleged role in egging his supporters to storm the Capitol building.
In a new interview with the Washington Post, Trump spoke about the Capitol attacks while shrugging off the furor surrounding the seven-hour gap in White House phone logs on the day of the attack.
According to Trump, he would have joined his supporters ‘in a minute’ if not for the advice of his Secret Service.
‘Secret Service said I couldn’t go. I would have gone there in a minute,’ Trump told the Washington Post on Thursday, April 7, in an interview at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
The billionaire business man also took aim at lawmakers investigating his daughter Ivanka over the events of January 6, claiming he offered to shield her with ‘privilege’ but she did not invoke it.
According to Trump, the eight-hour interview between Ivanka Trump and the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol was a ‘shame and harassment’ .
He said the House Select committee never reached out to him personally but was vague about what would happen if it did, stating ‘It depends what the request is.’
Trump also denied suggestions that he destroyed call logs or used burner phones in the hours between 11:17 a.m. and 6:54 p.m., and did not say who he spoke with during that period aside from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
‘From the standpoint of telephone calls, I don’t remember getting very many,’ Trump said.
‘Why would I care about who called me? If congressmen were calling me, what difference did it make? There was nothing secretive about it. There was no secret.’
Trump then touted the ‘tremendous’ crowd size at his White House ‘Stop the Steal’ rally before the riot took place, praising its organizers..
‘The crowd was far bigger than I even thought. I believe it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken to. I don’t know what that means, but you see very few pictures. They don’t want to show pictures, the fake news doesn’t want to show pictures,’ Trump said.
Trump denied regretting encouraging people to attack Capitol hill that day, nor did he admit to charging up the crowd with inflammatory speech.
‘I said peaceful and patriotic,’ he pointed out, without reportedly mentioning his other remarks.
Trump then placed the majority of the blame of the attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
‘I thought it was a shame, and I kept asking why isn’t she doing something about it? Why isn’t Nancy Pelosi doing something about it? And the mayor of D.C. also. The mayor of D.C. and Nancy Pelosi are in charge,’ Trump told the Post.
He added that he ‘hated seeing’ the riot and ‘assumed they were taking care of it’
‘But I believe when you see massive election fraud, I can’t imagine that somebody who won the election based on fraud, that something doesn’t happen?’
‘How has it not happened? If you are a bank robber, or you’re a jewelry store robber, and you go into Tiffany’s and you steal their diamonds and get caught, you have to give the diamonds back.’
Trump dismissed the notion that he would face a primary challenge in 2024 from current and former allies like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, ex-Vice President Mike Pence and ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
‘If I ran, I can’t imagine they’d want to run. Some out of loyalty would have had a hard time running. I think that most of those people, and almost every name you mentioned, is there because of me. In some cases, because I backed them and endorsed them,’ Trump claimed.
Of DeSantis, he said: ‘You know Ron was at 3 percent, and the day I endorsed him, he won the race … As soon as I endorsed him, the race was over.’
‘I have a good relationship with Ron, I have a good relationship with all the names you mentioned. Would they run against me? I doubt they would run against me. I doubt it.’