Getting Trump To Tell Capitol Attackers To Stand Down Took Three Takes And A Lot Of Pushing
A new book following the last year, and in particular the last days, of Donald Trump’s term in office details, among other things, just how hard it was for the then-president’s handlers to squeeze a message out of him that would encourage his rioting fans to stand down and let legislators get back to work.
The Washington Post published a long excerpt of a book authored by two reporters. I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year, by Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig, has already sent Trump into angry denials, but this particular story gives the public a peek at just how hard it was to get him in front of a camera to make his supporters back off.
First, the book details how many people had to push to get Trump to recognize that he (and his supporters) had gone too far. Ivanka Trump, who may have seen her own political aspirations going up in smoke, reportedly “spent several hours walking back and forth” to convince her father that it was time to put a stop to the attack. KellyAnne Conway, who had left her position months before as her daughter used TikTok and Twitter to put her family (and the Trump Administration) on blast, called and left a message to be “added to the chorus” of people telling Trump to make it stop. Other advisors reportedly called but received no answer.
Eventually, Trump was persuaded to post a video on Twitter, in which he recognized his supporters’ pain, validated their belief that the election had been “stolen,” and asked them to go home.
The full video, via the Telegraph, is below.
“We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everybody knows it, especially the other side…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.”
It reportedly took three takes to come up with a video that was close enough to the script to be released, because Trump kept veering away from what his speechwriters had prepared.
You can read the full excerpt here.