Throughout testimony presented at the Jan. 6 select committee hearings, former President Donald Trump, who could still face criminal charges stemming from the emerging evidence, sought to shape public perceptions about Republican witnesses who have appeared.
During some testimony, like Tuesday’s blockbuster appearance by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, Trump offered real-time responses on social media. During other parts, such as the appearance last Thursday of former Justice Department officials who testified that Trump asked them to “simply say the election was corrupt,” the former president released a series of statements. attacking what he calls “the UNSELECT committee” itself.
Despite polls showing a majority of Americans now believe Trump should be sued by the Justice Department over his efforts to nullify the 2020 election, the former president continues to claim he has nothing done wrong in regards to the riot at the Capitol on January 6. , 2021.
“This is simply an attempt to prevent a man who is leading in all the polls, against Republicans and Democrats by wide margins, from running for president again,” Trump said in a statement. 12-page statement laden with lies released after the second day of testimony earlier this month. In fundraising emails, Trump also repeatedly attacked the two Republican representatives on the committee as “Crazy Liz Cheney” and “Cryin’ Adam Kinzinger.”
As he did in the two impeachment hearings that took place during his presidency, Trump went after those who testified against him. In doing so, he sometimes drastically revised his own past statements about these people, some of whom he had generously praised when they worked for him.
During his testimony before the select committee that took place during the first hearing on June 9, former Trump attorney general William Barr said his department investigated the former president’s voter fraud allegations. and told him there was no evidence to support Trump’s claims.
Barr went on to describe how Trump became “detached from reality” about his election defeat and had no “interest in the real facts.” The idea that the fraud cost Trump the election was “bullshit” and “utter nonsense,” Barr said.
Ahead of the 2020 election, Trump praised Barr, calling him “a very straight shooter” and “a man of incredible integrity.”
Responding quickly to the June 9 hearing, in which excerpts of Barr’s testimony were shown, Trump called him a “coward” and a “weak and scared attorney general.”
Three days later, as Barr’s comments dominated media coverage, Trump used a different phrase to describe his former AG, referring to him as a RINO, which stands for “Republican in name only.”
“Former AG Bill Barr, a RINO if there ever was one, didn’t have the guts or stamina to tackle voter fraud – feared impeachment,” Trump wrote in a statement. statement posted on its social media platform, Social Truth. “NO RISK, NO GLORY!!!”
Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, also made a taped appearance at the first select committee hearing. As with Barr, his testimony before the committee was broadcast for the nation to see. The part of his testimony that struck a nerve came when he was asked for his response to Barr’s Dec. 1, 2020, statement that there was no evidence of significant voter fraud.
“It affected my perspective. I respect Attorney General Barr, so I accepted what he was saying,” she told the committee.
Trump has long praised Ivanka, who was his only child to officially join his administration. In a 2019 interview with The Atlantic, Trump gushed about his daughter, saying he had considered her for the role of president of the World Bank. “She would have been great for that because she’s really good with numbers,” he said.
After seeing her at the select committee hearing, he quickly sought to downplay his daughter’s comments.
“Ivanka Trump was not involved in reviewing or considering the election results. She had long since checked out and, in my opinion, was only trying to be respectful of Bill Barr and his job as Attorney General (he sucked!),” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
Republican Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testified in person before the select committee on June 21, recounting how Trump and his allies waged a pressure campaign to convince him to replace Arizona voters, even there was no evidence that voter fraud led to Joe Biden’s victory there.
In anticipation of Bowers’ testimony that Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani called Bowers in an attempt to convince him to void the Arizona election results, the former president released a statement attacking him.
“Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House, is the latest RINO to play with the screening committee,” Trump said in a statement.
Bowers testified that he told the then-president and Giuliani, “You are asking me to do something that is against my oath,” and said he refused to accept the plot because he “didn’t want to be used as a pawn.” However, he later told The Associated Press that if Trump were the Republican nominee in 2024, he would likely vote for him again.
A former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinson, testified under oath and in person Tuesday that Trump knew some of his supporters were armed before ordering them to the Capitol on Jan. 6; that he was told Trump was wrestling with his Secret Service detail for control of his limo; that the former president threw plates against the wall after learning that Barr would not support his conspiracy theories about a stolen election; and that Meadows and Giuliani had inquired about presidential pardons.
As his testimony unfolded, Trump sought to downplay Hutchinson’s role in his administration despite the fact that his office was steps away from his.
“I barely know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is except that I’ve heard very negative things about her (a total bogus and ‘leaker’), and when she asked to go with some other of the team in Florida after serving a full term, I personally declined his request,” Trump wrote in a statement.
“Why did she want to come with us if she thought we were so terrible?” I understand that she was very upset and angry that I didn’t want her to go or be on the team. She is bad news,” he wrote.
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