ABC News has obtained new audio featuring former President Donald Trump expressing his desire to visit the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. In the recording, he mentions that he believed he “would’ve been very well received,” but the U.S. Secret Service prevented him from doing so.
On March 18, 2021, a little more than two months following the Capitol riot, Trump engaged in a conversation with Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ chief Washington correspondent, telling him: “If you look at the real size of that crowd, it was never reported correctly. There were—it’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever spoken in front of, by far. By far.”
Trump clearly articulated his desire to be transported to the Capitol to “stop the problem.” The statement implies that he intended to address and oppose rioting and violence.
Karl said, “You told them you were going to go up to the Capitol,” to which Trump responded:
I was going to and then Secret Service said you can’t, and then by the time— I would have, and then when I get back, I saw— I wanted to go back. I was thinking about going back during the problem to stop the problem, doing it myself. Secret Service didn’t like that idea too much.
And I could have done that, and you know what? I would have been very well received. Don’t forget, the people that went to Washington that day, in my opinion, they went because they thought the election was rigged. That’s why they went.
Trump is facing four charges in Washington, D.C., for attempting to alter the outcome of the 2020 election, with the federal government filing charges against him. The trial is scheduled to commence on March 4, just ahead of Super Tuesday. Additionally, Trump has been indicted in three other jurisdictions.
In September, Trump repeated a previous claim that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was most responsible for the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot because she refused offers of extra security.
In addition, Trump mocked reports at the time that he “grabbed” a Secret Service agent in the presidential limo in an attempt to have him taken to the Capitol during the riot in an interview with new “Meet the Press” anchor Kristen Welker.
Nancy Pelosi was in charge of security. She turned down 10,000 soldiers. If she didn’t turn down the soldiers, you wouldn’t have had January 6,” Trump said. “I’m not going to tell you anything. Let me put it this way, I behaved so well. I did such a good job. Nancy Pelosi turned down 10,000 soldiers.”
“Listen to me,” he continued. “I understand that the police testified against her, the chief of the Capitol Police, great people, they testified against her, and they burned all the evidence. They destroyed all the evidence about Nancy Pelosi… She had authority over the Capitol… I assumed she took care of it.
“National Guard not coming? I asked it to be there three days in advance, and she turned it down,” he added. “The Mayor of D.C. gave us a letter saying that she turned it down,” he repeated. “Nancy Pelosi also was asked, and she turned it down. The Capitol Police [chief] said he wanted it and she wouldn’t accept it. She is responsible for January 6. Nancy Pelosi is responsible, and the January 6 Committee refused to interview her.”