During an interview with New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, former President Donald Trump threw cold water on the assertion he knew about the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol and did nothing to intervene, arguing he only found out about it after it happened.
Haberman interviewed Trump in preparation for her recently released book “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” which gives a new perspective of Trump’s life and his presidency.
In an audio recording of the interview played on CNN, Haberman asks Trump, “How did you find out there were people storming the Capitol?”
In response, Trump claims he heard “afterwards,” elaborating that he only heard on the “late side,” explaining that he was “watching with Mark Meadows and others. I was not watching television. I didn’t have the television on.”
Haberman questions the statement, saying, “You weren’t? OK.”
Trump then explains that he usually didn’t have the television on and that he only saw what was happening when he “later turned it on.”
The former President acknowledged, “I also had confidence that the Capitol [Police], who didn’t want these 10,000 people, that they’d be able to control this thing. And you don’t realize they did lose control.”
Although Trump’s assertions he didn’t watch his supporters overrun Congress in an attempt to stop the election results from being certified seem innocuous, they contradict the accounts several of his officials gave to the Jan. 6House Select Committee.
General Keith Kellogg, the former President’s acting national security adviser, told the committee he saw Trump and his aides, including Matthew Meadows, in the dining room, explaining, “I think everybody was watching TV.”
During her retelling of events to the Committee, Molly Michael, Trump’s former executive assistant, revealed, “it’s my understanding he was watching television” in the White House dining room as events unfolded.
A CBS News report also points to “witnesses” saying that Trump “sat in his usual spot, at the head of the table facing a television hanging on the wall,” adding that the employee revealed that “the TV was turned to Fox News all afternoon.”