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“I Don’t Want to Say the Election Is Over”: Video Outtakes Show Trump Refused to Admit Loss on Jan. 7

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The January 6 committee aired never-before-seen outtakes of President Trump’s speech on January 7, one day after the insurrection. He is seen initially reading a script that read “this election is now over. Congress has certified the results.” But Trump insisted on changing the script. “I don’t want to say the election is over,” Trump says in the video. “I just want to say Congress has certified the results, without saying the election is over.”

Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We continue our coverage of Thursday night’s hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. This is committee member, Virginia Democrat Elaine Luria.

REP. ELAINE LURIA: President Trump finally relented to the pleas from his staff, his family and from Capitol Hill for him to do something more at 4:17, 187 minutes, more than three hours after he stopped speaking at the Ellipse, after he stopped speaking to a mob that he had sent, armed, to the Capitol. That’s when he tweeted a video telling the rioters to go home, while also telling them that they were special and that he loved them. By that time, although, the violence was far from over. Law enforcement had started to turn the tide, reinforcements were on the way, and elected officials were in secure locations. The writing was already on the wall: The rioters would not succeed.

Here’s what was showing on Fox News, the channel the president was watching all afternoon.

FOX ANCHOR: Back to Bret Baier with more information now. Bret, what do you have?

BRET BAIER: Yeah. Our Pentagon team, Jen Griffin, Lucas Tomlinson, confirming the Defense Department has now mobilized the entire D.C. National Guard, 1,800 troops. Takes several hours, as I was mentioning before, to get them up and running. The Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is setting up a headquarters at the FBI. You just heard from David Spunt that the FBI is also sending troops to the Capitol.

REP. ELAINE LURIA: It’s no coincidence, then, that President Trump finally gave in and went out to the Rose Garden at 4:03. His staff had prepared a script for him to read, but he refused to use it. As you can see on the screen, you can see the script is stamped “President has seen.” The script said, quote, “I am asking you to leave the Capitol Hill region NOW and go home in a peaceful way.” The president was urged to stick to the script, but he spoke off the cuff.

Eric Herschmann and Nick Luna went with the president to film the message in the Rose Garden. Let’s hear what they had to say and see the never-before-seen raw footage of the president recording this video message.

INVESTIGATOR: Ultimately, these remarks that we’re looking at here in exhibit 25 were not the remarks that the president delivered in the Rose Garden. Do you know why the president decided not to use these?

NICHOLAS LUNA: I don’t know, sir. No, I do not know why.

INVESTIGATOR: Did the president use any written remarks, to your knowledge, or did he just go off the cuff?

NICHOLAS LUNA: To my knowledge, it was off the cuff, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED: When you’re ready, sir.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You tell me when.

UNIDENTIFIED: When you’re ready, sir.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Who’s — who’s behind me?

UNIDENTIFIED: He’s gone. He’s gone around. We’re all clear now.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had a election — let me say — I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us — from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election. But we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.

JARED KUSHNER: When I got there, basically, the president just had finished filming the video. And I think he was basically retiring for the day.

INVESTIGATOR: Was there any discussion about the president releasing a second video that day?

ERIC HERSCHMANN: Not that I recall. When he finished his video, I think everyone was like, day’s over. People were pretty drained.

INVESTIGATOR: Were pretty what?

ERIC HERSCHMANN: Drained.

INVESTIGATOR: When we say “day” — “day over,” I mean, there were still people in the Capitol at that point, weren’t there?

ERIC HERSCHMANN: There were people in the Capitol, but I believe, by this stage, you know, law enforcement — and I’d have to go back and look, but I believe law enforcement was either there or moving in or going to take charge. I’d just say people were emotionally drained by the time that videotape was done.

REP. ELAINE LURIA: Emotionally drained? At the White House? Here’s what was happening at the same time at the Capitol. We warn the audience that this clip also contains strong language and violence.

RIOTER 1: Keep pushing! Don’t lose the momentum!

RIOTER 2: [bleep] [inaudible] [bleep]

CAPITOL POLICE: We’ve got another officer unconscious, at the terrace, West Terrace.

RIOTER 3: Everybody, we need gas masks! We need weapons! We need strong, angry patriots to help our boys! They don’t want to leave.

REP. ELAINE LURIA: The president’s words matter. We know that many of the rioters were listening to President Trump. We heard from one last week, Stephen Ayres. Let’s listen to what he had to say about the 4:17 message from the president, and see how rioters reacted to the president’s message in real time.

STEPHEN AYRES: Well, when we were there, as soon as that come out, everybody started talking about it. And that’s — it seemed like it started to disperse, you know, some of the crowd.

JACOB CHANSLEY: I’m here delivering the president’s message. Donald Trump has asked everybody to go home.

RIOTER 1: He said, go home.

RIOTER 2: That’s our order.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to …

RIOTER 3: He says, go home.

RIOTER 4: What’s he saying?

RIOTER 3: He says, go home.

RIOTER 5: Yeah, he said to go home.

REP. ELAINE LURIA: But just as Mr. Ayres said, police were still fending off the last throes of the brutal assault.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Democratic Congressmember Elaine Luria of the January 6th House committee. She led Thursday’s hearing with Republican Congressmember Adam Kinzinger.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER: While everyone else was working to get Congress back in session, what did President Trump do? At 6:01, just one minute after the citywide curfew went into effect, he posted his last tweet of the day. After officers engaged in multiple hours of hand-to-hand combat, with over a hundred of them sustaining injuries, President Trump tweeted at 6:01 and justified the violence as a natural response to the election. He said, quote, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!” He called the mob “great patriots.” He told people to remember the day forever. He showed absolutely no remorse.

A few minutes later, at 6:27, the president left the dining room, and he went up to the White House residence for the night. On the screen is the last photograph of the president that night as he went into the residence. As he was gathering his things in the dining room to leave, President Trump reflected on the day’s events with a White House employee. This was the same employee who had met President Trump in the Oval Office after he returned from the Ellipse. President Trump said nothing to the employee about the attack. He said only, quote, “Mike Pence let me down.”

AMY GOODMAN: That was Republican Congressmember Adam Kinzinger of the House January 6th committee. This is Democratic committee member Elaine Luria.

REP. ELAINE LURIA: The staff who remained at the White House on the morning of January 7th knew the president needed to address the nation again. And they had a speech prepared for him that morning, but he refused for hours to give it. As you heard Cassidy Hutchinson testify previously, President Trump finally agreed to record an address to the nation later that evening, the evening of January 7, because of concerns he might be removed from power under the 25th Amendment or by impeachment. We know these threats were real. Sean Hannity said so himself in a text message that day to Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. He wrote, “No more stolen election talk. Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real.”

We obtained the never-before-seen raw footage of the president recording his address to the nation that day, on January 7, more than 24 hours after the last time he had addressed the nation from the Rose Garden. Let’s take a look.

UNIDENTIFIED: Whenever you’re ready, sir.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack yesterday … And to those who broke the law, you will pay. You do not represent our movement. You do not represent our country. And if you broke the law — I can’t say that. I’m not going to — I already said, “you will pay.” … The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defied the seat of destiny. It’s defiled, right? See, I can’t see it very well. OK, I’ll do this. I’m going to do this. Let’s go. … But this election is now over. Congress has certified the results. I don’t want to say the election is over. I just want to say Congress has certified the results, without saying the election is over. OK?

IVANKA TRUMP: But Congress has certified. Now Congress has certified.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, but —

IVANKA TRUMP: Now Congress has certified.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I didn’t say over, so let me see. Go — go to the paragraph before. … OK? I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack yesterday — “yesterday” is a hard word for me.

IVANKA TRUMP: Just take it out. The heinous attack.

UNIDENTIFIED: Say heinous attack on our nation.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Ah, good. Take the word “yesterday” out, because it doesn’t work with the heinous attack — on our country. Say “on our country.” Want to say that?

IVANKA TRUMP: No, keep this.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. … My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote.

REP. ELAINE LURIA: On January 7th, one day after he incited an insurrection based on a lie, President Trump still could not say that the election was over.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Democratic Congressmember Elaine Luria of the January 6th House committee. Republican Congressmember Liz Cheney, vice chair of the committee, gave closing remarks.

REP. LIZ CHENEY: At one point in 2016, when he was first running for office, Donald Trump said this: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” That quote came to mind last week when audio from Trump adviser Steve Bannon surfaced from October 31st, 2020, just a few days before the presidential election. Let’s listen.

STEPHEN BANNON: And what Trump’s going to do is just declare victory. Right? He’s going to declare victory. But that doesn’t mean he’s the winner. He’s just going to say he’s the winner.

The Democrats — more of our people vote early that count. Theirs vote in the mail. And so, they’re going to have a natural disadvantage, and Trump’s going to take advantage of it. That’s our strategy. He’s going to declare himself the winner. So, when you wake up Wednesday morning, it’s going to be a firestorm.

Also, if Trump is — if Trump is losing by 10:00 or 11:00 at night, it’s going to be even crazier, because he’s going — no, because he’s going to sit right there and say they stole it. If Biden’s winning, Trump is going to do some crazy [bleep].

REP. LIZ CHENEY: And, of course, four days later, President Trump declared victory, when his own campaign advisers told him he had absolutely no basis to do so. What the new Steve Bannon audio demonstrates is that Donald Trump’s plan to falsely claim victory in 2020, no matter what the facts actually were, was premeditated. Perhaps worse, Donald Trump believed he could convince his voters to buy it, whether he had any actual evidence of fraud or not. And the same thing continued to occur from Election Day onward until January 6th. Donald Trump was confident that he could convince his supporters the election was stolen, no matter how many lawsuits he lost — and he lost scores of them. He was told over and over again, in immense detail, that the election was not stolen. There was no evidence of widespread fraud. It didn’t matter. Donald Trump was confident he could persuade his supporters to believe whatever he said, no matter how outlandish, and, ultimately, that they could be summoned to Washington to help him remain president for another term.

AMY GOODMAN: From Vice Chair Liz Cheney to Bennie Thompson, chair of the January 6th House committee.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON: There can be no doubt that there was a coordinated, multistep effort to overturn an election, overseen and directed by Donald Trump. There can be no doubt that he commanded a mob, a mob he knew was heavily armed, violent and angry, to march on the Capitol to try to stop the peaceful transfer of power. And he made targets out of his own vice president and the lawmakers gathered to do the people’s work. These facts have gone undisputed.

And so, there needs to be accountability, accountability under the law, accountability to the American people, accountability at every level, from the local precincts in many states, where Donald Trump and his allies attacked election workers for just doing their jobs, all the way up to the Oval Office, where Donald Trump embraced the illegal advice of insurrectionists that a federal judge has already said was a coup in search of a legal theory. Our democracy withstood the attack on January 6th. If there is no accountability for January 6th for every part of this scheme, I fear that we will not overcome the ongoing threat to our democracy. There must be stiff consequences for those responsible.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s House January 6th Committee Chair Bennie Thompson speaking from isolation, as he’s tested positive for COVID-19. To see all eight of the committee’s hearings in full, go to democracynow.org.

That does it for our show. Democracy Now! produced with Mike Burke, Renée Feltz, Messiah Rhodes, Nermeen Shaikh. I’m Amy Goodman. Wear a mask. Stay safe.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

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