In the aftermath of violence that rocked the nation’s capital, hours after hundreds demonstrators attacked the U.S. Capitol, and as his power slipped away, President Trump turned on his supporters.
‘This looks terrible. This is really bad,’ he told an aide by telephone after watching television coverage of his fans ransacking the Capitol and as his small team tried to work out a survival strategy.
‘These aren’t our people, these idiots with these outfits.
‘They look like Democrats.’
The smell of marijuana hung over clumps of protesters, many of whom had dressed for the occasion – some in camouflage gear, some in jackets made from flags, one as Abraham Lincoln and, in images that came to define the protests, another in a horned headdress.
A new book details how Trump responded to unfolding events on Jan. 6, when Vice President Mike Pence refused to follow his orders in overturning election results, and a mob of Trump supporters attacked police officers and stormed the Capitol complex.
In ‘Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency’ author Michael Wolff delivers a blow-by-blow account.
Former President Trump addresses supporters at his first rally since leaving the White House. A new book reveals how he turned on his own fans after watching the violence unfold at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6
It also claims Ivanka Trump was going around the West Wing talking about getting her children into private school on January 6.
Then, as MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol, she allegedly downplayed the issue.
Wolff writes: ‘No one in the White House was seeing this as the full-on assault on the Capitol and the nail in the coffin of the Trump administration that the world would shortly understand it to be; they were, for perhaps another 90 minutes or so, still treating this as “an optics issue,” as Ivanka was putting it.
A new book offers a blow-by-blow account of how President Trump responded on the day his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol
‘It wasn’t until later in the three o’clock hour that Trump seemed to begin the transition from seeing the mob as people protesting the election — defending him so he would defend them — to seeing them as “not our people.” Therefore, he bore no responsibility for them.’
As the extent of the violence became clear, advisers urged the president to post a Twitter statement that would encourage people to go home, according to an excerpt published by New York magazine.
‘Bad apples, like ANTIFA or other crazed leftists, infiltrated today’s peaceful protest over the fraudulent vote count,’ said one, using the voice of Trump.
‘Violence is never acceptable! MAGA supporters embrace our police and the rule of law and should leave the Capitol now!’
The other said: ‘The fake news media who encouraged this summer’s violent and radical riots are now trying to blame peaceful and innocent MAGA supporters for violent actions.
‘This isn’t who we are! Our people should head home and let the criminals suffer the consequences!’
In the event, according to Wolff, he ignored both as he continued to fume that the election had been stolen from him.
In calls to allies he sought assurances that coverage of the protests was overblown.
The book recounts how one of his key advisers was watching the trouble unfold from his home in Arlington, Virginia.
Jason Miller began drafting a statement that would essentially do what Trump had not done so far: Concede that Joe Biden won.
He spoke to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows before speaking to Trump himself.
‘How bad is this?’ Trump asked, diverging from his usual tactic of seeking assurances that everything was perfect.
Protesters dressed like superheros, militiamen, veterans of the American Revolution and as Abraham Lincoln
‘Mr. President, today is literally going to change everything,’ said Miller, according to the account.
At that point, Trump turned on his supporters who were all over the TV attacking the Capitol, calling them ‘idiots with these outfits.’
The first lady then joined in the call on speakerphone.
‘The media is trying to go and say this is who we are,’ she said. ‘We don’t support this.’
‘That’s what we have to make clear,’ said Miller, as he read a proposed draft statement.
As they haggled over whether to talk about an ‘orderly’ or ‘peaceful’ transition, Trump apparently began to realize that the statement was not just about the protesters. It was about his conduct too.
‘The media thinks I’m not going to leave,’ he said. ‘Do they really think that? That’s crazy.’
Miller responded: ‘We’ve never laid that out. I really can’t stress enough how much we have to make it clear that we’re fully onboard with an orderly transition.’
With the president’s Twitter account suspended earlier in the day, they had to sent it out via Dan Scavino, Trump’s social media guru.