The House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection incited by Donald Trump has released its final report after months of hearings with hundreds of witnesses and millions of documents. It is an exhaustively detailed and well documented examination of the events leading up to the storming of the Capitol by his cult followers, and of the violence that occurred there at his urging.
Naturally, Trump has issued a response to the report on his floundering Twitter ripoff, Truth Social. And it will surprise no one to learn that his response reflects his shameless, albeit predictable, distortion of reality.
While Trump ignores most of the damning evidence of his blatantly unlawful and grossly unethical conduct, and treasonous dereliction of duty, in the 845 page report, he does fixate on a couple of issues that have been a standard part of his post-insurrection harangues for more than two years. And true to form, he lies brazenly about matters that are easily verified. In his post he wrote that…
“The highly partisan Unselect Committee Report purposely fails to mention the failure of Pelosi to heed my recommendation for troops to be used in D.C., show the ‘Peacefully and Patrioticly’ [sic] words I used, or study the reason for the protest, Election Fraud. WITCH HUNT!”
Let’s just set aside Trump’s infantile nickname for what he calls the “Unselect Committee,” and his tedious rant about non-existent election fraud. His assertion that the Committee “fails to mention the failure of Pelosi to heed my recommendation for troops to be used in D.C.” can easily be refuted just by reading the report. Of course, reading may be too difficult a task for the notoriously illiterate former reality TV game show host. The Committee report actually does address the question of Trump’s alleged recommendation to deploy troops saying that…
“Some have suggested that President Trump gave an order to have 10,000 troops ready for January 6th. The Select Committee found no evidence of this. In fact, President Trump’s Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller directly refuted this when he testified under oath. […] Miller: No. Yeah. That’s correct. There was no direct—there was no order from the President.”
So not only is Trump lying about Speaker Pelosi, he is trying to suppress his own failure to act while the seat of American democracy was under attack. This is just his attempt to shift responsibility for the violence at the Capitol to Pelosi. He expects people to believe, without evidence, that he made a recommendation to deploy troops to defend the Capitol. From his own supporters? Although, there is a scenario under which that might make sense. The Committee report also noted that…
“An email sent by [Trump’s] Chief of Staff [Mark] Meadows on January 5th explicitly noted that the DC Guard would be on hand to ‘protect pro Trump people.'”
In Trump’s mind there was no risk of harm to the Capitol, or to members of Congress, or even to his Vice-President, Mike Pence. He was only concerned about the insurrectionists that he was leading, albeit from behind.
Additionally, Trump’s assertion that the Committee report neglected to “show the ‘Peacefully and Patrioticly’ [sic] words I used,” is also demonstrably false. The Committee report says that…
“Trump used the phrase scripted for him by his White House speechwriters, ‘peacefully and patriotically’ once, about 20 minutes into his speech. Then he spent the next 50-or-so minutes amping up his crowd with lies about the election, attacking his own Vice President and Republican Members of Congress, and exhorting the crowd to fight. ‘And we fight. We fight like hell’ the President said to a crowd that had already ‘spent the day chanting, ‘Fight for Trump!'”
Once again, Trump is being deliberately dishonest about the contents of the Committee report. Not only does it mention the words he used, it puts them in the proper context so that their insincerity is apparent.
If Trump were truly interested in peaceful protest, he wouldn’t have used language that incited violence, such as when he said “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” And he wouldn’t have waited three hours before putting out a statement asking his insurrectionists to stand down. But even in that statement he praised the rioters and told them that he “loved” them.
This is all standard Trumpian speak that serves only to exalt Trump and advance his lies and his lust for power. His glassy-eyed disciples will devour it whole and unquestioningly. His toadies on Fox News and other wingnut media will spread it without noting the obvious falsehoods. But his days are numbered as the law closes in on him, and as he continues to humiliate himself with pathetic and impotent defenses like those above.
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