The Ellipse, near the White House, was home to Donald Trump’s supporters on January 6, 2021.
The video message was sent hours after the rioters took over the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.
It was strange even at the time. Here’s the transcript. (Bolding is mine).
“I feel your pain. I understand how you feel. It was a stolen election. It was a landslide victory and everyone knows that, even the opposition. You have to return home. We need peace. We must have law and order. Respect for our law-abiding heroes is essential. We don’t want anyone to be hurt.
It’s been a difficult time. It’s been so difficult that they can take it from us all — from you, me, and our country. We can’t allow these people to win this fraudulent election. We must have peace. So go home. We love you. You are very special. We have seen the results. You can see how others treat you.
I can still recall watching the Twitter statement he made on January 6th and thinking, “This is the best he could have come up with?” The Capitol had just witnessed an armed rebellion that left many people dead and more than 100 officers injured. (More than 840 people were arrested for their involvement in the attack on Capitol that day.
They show Trump struggling to get through the effort of taping the message. Trump refused to declare the election results were settled and tried to call the rioters patriots. Trump also tried to avoid accusing them of wrongdoing. “
Trump’s speech was short (under three minutes) but largely conciliatory.
He said, “A new administration would be inaugurated on 20 January.” “My attention now shifts to ensuring that there is a seamless, orderly, and smooth transition of power. This moment requires healing and reconciliation.”
We now know that he didn’t give the speech he originally intended to. Instead, he wanted to continue to ask questions about the elections as well as to praise those who had, approximately 24 hours earlier, overrun the Capitol.
The most striking thing about the new reporting on the Capitol riot aftermath is that it confirms what we have hints of: Trump didn’t grasp (or didn’t care to grasp), the gravity of what occurred on January 6. It wasn’t an attack on democracy that he saw. He viewed it instead as a display of patriotic fervor.
It was not something he understood then. He doesn’t get it now. He’s likely to be the Republican nominee in 2024. Let’s just take a moment to think about that.