Trump enjoyed watching Capitol riot and boasted of crowd size, new book claims

Ex-president reportedly argued with aides who wanted him to put out a message calling off his supporters

Bevan Hurley
Monday 11 October 2021 22:47 BST
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Former President Donald Trump boasted about the size of the crowd on 6 January as rioters attacked the US Capitol, a new book claims.

Mr Trump watched on a television in the White House private dining room as a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol and chanted “hang Mike Pence”, writes ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl in his new book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show.

He reportedly enjoyed what he saw and argued with aides who wanted him to put out a message to his supporters to stop rioting.

“Trump had to tape the message several times before they thought he got it right,” an aide who was present said.

Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy allegedly spoke to Mr Trump spoke during the riot, and told him: “I just got evacuated from the Capitol! There were shots fired right off the House floor. You need to make this stop.”

According to a source familiar with the call, Mr Trump responded by saying, “They are just more upset than you because they believe it more than you, Kevin,” referring to the “Big Lie” that the presidential election had been stolen.

A House select committee investigating the Capitol riots has subpoenaed Mr Trump’s phone records from the day.

Mr Trump is fighting the order, claiming executive privilege, and is attempting to block four of his former aides including Mark Meadows and Steven Bannon from cooperating with the committee.

President Joe Biden has said the National Archives should comply with the request, and that executive privilege doesn’t cover those communications.

Betrayal, which goes on sale in November, is described as the definitive account of “what was really going on during the final weeks and months of the Trump presidency”.

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