WASHINGTON (The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump, in an interview published by The Washington Post on Thursday, said that he wanted to march alongside his supporters during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, but the Secret Service would not allow it.
Trump told the outlet he wanted to join the rally but was told he couldn’t. “Secret Service said I couldn’t go. I would have gone there in a minute,” he said.
The former president also praised the organizers of the rally, some of whom are now facing subpoenas over their conduct on Jan. 6, the Post reports. Trump said he did not regret telling his supporters to come to Washington or tweeting that the rally would “be wild!” the day of the riot, notes the Post. According to the publication, Trump remained defensive and stood by his actions on Jan. 6 throughout the interview.
“The crowd was far bigger than I even thought. I believe it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken to. I don’t know what that means, but you see very few pictures. They don’t want to show pictures, the fake news doesn’t want to show pictures,” Trump said, describing the event. “But this was a tremendous crowd.”
The Post reported that advisers to the former president described him as being excited while watching television during the march and the subsequent attack on the Capitol. Eventually, nearly three hours after the attack started, Trump listened to the pleas from family and lawmakers and released a video urging his supporters to go home, the Post reports.
Trump told the news outlet that he did not recall getting many phone calls on Jan. 6 and denied removing call logs or using a burner phone that day. White House call logs given to the committee examining the events of Jan. 6 reportedly had a gap of more than 7 hours, according to multiple outlets.
Throughout the Washington Post interview, Trump refused to accept blame for the Capitol riot, instead accusing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the mayor of Washington, D.C., of being responsible for the escalation. “I thought it was a shame, and I kept asking, ‘Why isn’t she doing something about it? Why isn’t Nancy Pelosi doing something about it? And the mayor of D.C. also.’ The mayor of D.C. and Nancy Pelosi are in charge,” Trump said.