Trump ignored pleas to stop Jan. 6 riot: witnesses

STORY: The latest hearings around the deadly U.S. Capitol riots detailed a lack of response on that day by Donald Trump, as well as what he wouldn't say, with new testimony and footage of the events shown Thursday including speech outtakes that showed Trump refusing to admit defeat the day after the attack.

"OK? I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack yesterday. Yesterday is a hard word for me..."

"But this election is now over. Congress has certified the results. I don't want to say the election's over. I just want to say Congress has certified the results without saying the election's over..."

In the hearing, broadcast during primetime TV, the panel of seven Democrat and two Republican House members detailed what they said was Trump's failure to act for over three hours, between his remarks urging supporters to march on the Capitol, and the release of a video telling them to go home.

Republican Adam Kinzinger portrayed a president who was satisfied with the violence on Capitol Hill.

"Here's what will be clear by the end of this hearing: Trump did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the Ellipse and telling the mob to go home. He chose not to act."

Witnesses including former White House aides and top officials described how Trump sat in a private dining room, watching the riot unfold on TV, and ignoring pleas from staff and family members to call for its end.

SELECT COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE: “Was the president in that private dining room the whole time that the attack on the Capitol was going on? Or did he ever go, again, only to your knowledge to the Oval Office, to the White House situation room, anywhere else?”

MCENANY: “To the best of my recollection he was always in the dining room.”

SELECT COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE: “When you were in the dining room during these discussions was the violence at the Capitol visible on screen? On the television?”


In recorded testimony, then-White House Counsel Pat Cipollone was asked question after question about Trump:

Did he call the secretary of defense? The attorney general? The head of Homeland Security?

To each, Cipollone answered 'no'.

And he testified that he urged Trump to call off the riot as soon as possible.

"I think I was pretty clear there needed to be an immediate and forceful response, statement, public statement that people need to leave the Capitol now."

The committee also showed a well-known image of conservative Republican Josh Hawley with a fist raised outside the Capitol, in support of the gathering angry crowds still behind security lines.

But new footage played on Thursday - which sparked laughter - showed Hawley running from the rioters, first fleeing across a hallway and later down a flight of stairs.

Another round of hearings is expected to begin in September, just weeks before the November midterm elections that will decide control of the House and Senate.

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