A day after an angry mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, President Donald Trump filmed a three-minute video in the East Room of the White House condemning the violence. It took him nearly an hour to tape the message.
In outtakes shown during the House select committee’s primetime hearing on Thursday night, Trump is seen on camera on Jan. 7, 2021, struggling to condemn the rioters for the deadly siege that had occurred the day before.
Speaking from a teleprompter in the East Room, Trump is seen stopping and starting multiple times, complaining to Ivanka Trump, who was off camera, that he could not see some of the prepared text.
“I’d like to begin by discussing the heinous attack yesterday,” Trump said at one point in a video shown by the panel. “‘Yesterday’ is a hard word for me.”
“Just take it out,” Ivanka Trump replied.
The president struck the podium multiple times in frustration. He also refused to concede that the election was over.
“This election is now over. Congress has certified the results,” Trump said before stopping. “I don’t want to say the election is over. I want to say Congress has certified the results without saying the election is over, OK?”
In the video that was released later that day, Trump reluctantly condemned the violence but did not say the election was over.
The hearing was mostly focused on what Trump was doing on Jan. 6, 2021, while a violent mob breached the Capitol building as Congress was in the process of certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory — with former aides Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews providing intimate details of the 187 minutes that transpired between his speech at the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse and when he finally released a video statement urging his supporters to go home.
The committee showed outtakes from that message, taped in the Rose Garden, in which Trump told the rioters, “Go home, we love you, you’re very special,” while repeating false claims that the election had been stolen.
The presentation was the eighth in this series convened by the Jan. 6 committee as it continues to present evidence stemming from its yearlong investigation of the attack.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the committee’s vice chair, said more witnesses had come forward and that the panel will hold more hearings starting in September.