Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) again is changing his story about his communications with Donald Trump during the height of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. The question is: why?
Trump acolyte Jordan was one of many members of Congress who were rushed to a safe room as the Trump-incited rioters rampaged through his place of work. As the mob roamed through the Capitol looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and chanting “hang Mike Pence,” Trump was ensconced safely in the White House, watching the mayhem he stoked play out on television. It’s been reported that the former president was inundated with multiple calls that afternoon to call in the National Guard to help quell the riot, but what’s not certain is who was making those pleas.
During an appearance with Spectrum News, the Ohio Republican hemmed, hawed and danced around the question about whether – and when – he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6.
“Uh, I’d have to go, I’d, I, I, I spoke with him that day after, I think after. I don’t know if I spoke with him in the morning or not,” he said. “I just don’t know. Uh, I’d have to go back and, I mean I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know, uh, that, when those conversations happened. But, um, what I know is that I spoke with him all the time.”
The question Jordan steadfastly has refused to answer – until now – is whether he had more than one conversation with Trump as rioters laid siege to the Capitol. Reporter Olivia Beavers of Politico is reporting that Jordan now says, “Look, I definitely spoke with the president that day. I don’t recall – I know if was more than once, I just don’t recall the times.” He also said that “I’m sure” one of his calls with Trump took place int he safe room “because we were in that room forever.”
A source with knowledge of a call with Trump also confirmed that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) was a party to that call, during which they implored Trump to appeal to the insurrectionists to stand down and leave the Capitol building.
It has been unclear why Jordan insists on being so circumspect about his communications with the twice-impeached, one-term former president that day. What is clear is that he has begun dribbling out some additional details about his interactions now that the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Insurrection has indicated it is gathering cell phone and other communications records of members of Congress from that day as its investigation gathers steam.
Until now, Jordan has been his typically cocky self about the issue. “If they call me, I got nothing to hide,” the Ohio Republican boasted.