Trump used Diet Cokes as stalling tactic as he filmed video confirming he’d leave office, Jan 6 committee told

Former White House photographer Shealah Craighead told the January 6 panel that Donald Trump kept using stalling tactics during filming of a video announcing that he would be leaving the White House after losing the 2020 US presidential elections.

Ms Craighead told the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riots that on 7 January 2021 Mr Trump delayed the release of the video by repeatedly ordering Diet Cokes and asking for towels to wipe his sweat.

A day after Mr Trump’s supporters ransacked the Capitol building, Mr Trump released the video in which he said that he would be leaving the White House and that Joe Biden would be taking over.

However, outtakes released by the House Select Committee showed that the former president was reluctant to read from the script he had been given and refused to say that the 2020 election was over and deployed delaying tactics.

Specifically, Ms Craighead told the committee: “His agitation of stopping and starting the conversation was based on asking for Diet Cokes several times, or stopping to take a sip and then starting again, immediately stopping and taking another sip and then starting again, reading some of the scroll, and then asking for a new Coca-Cola, or needing a towel to wipe his head or something.”

She continued: “It was just there is anything – you know, as you procrastinate, you’re finding anything to... not to do what you have to do. Anything that he could procrastinate with before getting the words out he would do.”

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She told the committee that the former president particularly seemed reluctant to express support for the transition to the new administration.

“The atmosphere and the mood, in my observation, based on what I saw, was that he was still very much against the transition of the next President and administration coming in,” Ms Craighead said.