National Security

Jan. 6 hearing to show Trump spent day largely watching violence unfold on TV

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump listens as Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt delivers remarks on proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, at the White House in Washington. In Trump’s presidency, fact checking became a cottage industry unto itself. And “alternative facts” became a buzzphrase, coined by one of his admiring aides. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

President Trump was primarily sitting in the White House dining room watching T.V. while the deadly attack unfolded at the Capitol on Jan. 6, aides told the committee investigating the riot.

The clip, shared by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who will help lead Thursday’s primetime hearing, shows numerous aides indicating Trump spent the duration of the attack away from his desk watching the violence unfold.

“To the best of my recollection he was always in the dining room,” Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s former White House press secretary, says in the clip.

“I think everybody was watching the T.V,” Keith Kellogg, national security advisor to former Vice President Mike Pence, told the committee.

“It’s my understanding he was watching television,” said Molly Michael, an executive assistant to Trump. 

The clip was released ahead of a hearing in which the committee will explore the 187 minutes between Trump finishing his speech at the White House Ellipse until shortly after 4 p.m., when he released a video asking the rioters to go home.

The committee plans to show Trump was aware the situation was escalating to violence, but chose to do little to intervene.

When asked if the violence playing out was visible on the T.V. screen, Pat Cipollone, Trump’s White House counsel, simply answered, “Yes.”

Tags Adam Kinzinger Adam Kinzinger Donald Trump House select Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 Capitol riot Kayleigh McEnany Keith Kellogg Mike Pence Pat Cipollone Trump

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