Hours after the Jan. 6 committee held the second in a series of public hearings on the events surrounding the Capitol riot, former President Donald Trump released a 12-page statement on Monday repeating many of the same false election fraud claims that the panel says led to the violent insurrection.
In it, Trump suggested that the bipartisan committee’s televised presentation of evidence collected in its 11-month investigation of the attack is an attempt by Democrats at distracting from numerous issues weighing on President Biden’s administration, including inflation and the baby formula shortage.
“They are desperate to change the narrative of a failing nation,” Trump said. “They are hoping that these hearings will somehow alter their failing prospects.”
Trump made little mention of what was actually presented during Monday’s hearing, which featured testimony from his former aides who said they told him repeatedly that his election fraud claims were bogus and that he didn’t have the numbers needed to win on election night to claim victory.
According to Bill Stepien, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, and Jason Miller, a top adviser, Trump instead decided to heed the advice of Rudy Giuliani, who they said appeared to be intoxicated when he urged the former president to declare victory and say the election was being stolen.
The daytime hearing, which was carried live by the major networks including Fox News, also featured more testimony from former Attorney General William Barr, who told the panel that Trump appeared to lose touch with reality following his election loss to Biden and showed no interest in the evidence that disproved his wild claims of voter fraud.
“Before the election, it was sometimes possible to talk sense to the president,” Barr said in videotaped testimony played Monday. “But I felt that after the election he didn’t seem to be listening.
“I really thought he’s become detached from reality,” Barr added. “There was never any interest in what the actual facts were.”
Trump, who railed against Barr following last week’s primetime hearing, made no mention of his former attorney general in his 12-page statement.
It was, however, peppered with Trumpisms (“Sleepy Joe,” the “Unselect committee” et al.) and dozens of footnotes, many of which were attributions to “2,000 Mules,” a documentary directed by Dinesh D'Souza that purports to have "smoking gun" evidence of massive voter fraud.
The film was referenced several times during Monday’s hearing, with Barr saying he had seen no evidence to support that the election was stolen, “including the ‘2,000 Mules’ movie."
Trump concluded his statement by suggesting the Jan. 6 hearings are “merely an attempt to stop a man that is leading in every poll, against both Republicans and Democrats by wide margins, from running again for the Presidency.”
While Trump is not leading in every poll, he appeared to be referring to himself.