Former President Donald Trump refused to read a prepared statement on Jan. 6 and instead recorded off-the-cuff remarks that repeated false voter fraud claims even as he asked supporters to leave the Capitol,” Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., said on July 21 as the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack presented its findings to the public.
“His staff prepared a script for him to read. But he refused to use it,” Luria said. “The script said ‘I’m asking you to leave the Capitol region now and go home in a peaceful way.’ The president was urged to stick to this script. But he spoke off the cuff,” Luria said.
Former deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews told the committee that this moment was when she finally decided to resign.
Matthews was “struck” by Trump who began the video “by pushing the lie that there is a stolen election.”
“As the video went on, I felt a small sense of relief because he finally told these people to go home,” however Matthews was disturbed by Trump’s telling the rioters, “We love you. You’re very special.”
Trump’s refusal to act and call off his mob of supporters on Jan. 6 was “indefensible.” “And so, I knew that I would be resigning that evening,” Matthews said.
The hearing focused on what President Donald Trump was doing during the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol in an effort to interrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
In the year since its creation, the committee has conducted more than 1,000 interviews, seeking critical information and documents from people witness to, or involved in, the violence that day.
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