One could tell from the sub-heading of The Washington Post article about the newspaper’s recent interview with Donald Trump that the former president was as incorrigible as ever.
“The former president struck a defiant posture and repeated false claims in an interview with The Washington Post,” the line under the headline read.
Indeed, Trump not only deflected all responsibility for the January 6th insurrection conducted by his MAGA supporters, he further “voiced regret Wednesday over not marching to the U.S. Capitol the day his supporters stormed the building,” the newspaper’s Josh Dawsey reports.
Trump’s refusal to accept an iota of blame for the events of January 6th seemingly stems from a thought process in which the very idea that he had the power to intervene to prevent the violent uprising is simply incomprehensible to the normally authoritarian-minded former president.
“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 of the insurrection. “I hated seeing it. I hated seeing it. And I said, ‘It’s got to be taken care of,’ and I assumed they were taking care of it.”
Insert the old saw about what happens when you assume something right here.
Dawsey’s interview with Trump did not yield much that we haven’t heard thousands of times before, as he repeated his discredited claims that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged” and stolen from him, refusing to express regret that he urged his followers to converge on the Capitol on that fateful January 6th with a tweet that enticed them with the message that it would “be wild!”
Instead, when asked about that day, Trump continued his fixation on the size of the crowd that he had attracted.
“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,” the prevaricating former president said. “But this was a tremendous crowd.”
Tremendously violent, perhaps.
With his typical partisan misogyny, Trump continues to project his guilt as the instigator of the insurrection upon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the Democratic mayor of Washington DC Muriel Bowser, despite the fact that the House Speaker does not have unilateral control of the woefully outnumbered Capitol Police and that Bowser’s aides were anxiously attempting to contact the then-president during the height of the violence.
“The former president’s desperate lies aside, the speaker was no more in charge of the security of the U.S. Capitol that day than Mitch McConnell,” a spokesperson for Pelosi responded when hearing of Trump’s assertions.
Trump was inconclusive when asked whether he would appear before the House Select Committee on January 6th if he were asked to.
“It depends what the request is,” he said, likely disengenuously, given that he has fought the committee tooth and nail to in generally unsuccessful attempts to prevent the committee from gaining access to White House records and the testimony of former aides.
In one of the few new bits of information gleaned by the interview, Trump called the Jan. 6th committee’s interview of his daughter, Ivanka Trump, a “shame and harassment,” although he claims to not know exactly what she told the committee during her multi-hour questioning. He also revealed that he had offered Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, the ability to use his “privilege” if they wanted, although they reportedly declined the dubious offer.
The rest of the interview touches on Ginni Thomas — “First of all, her husband is a great justice. And she’s a fine woman. And she loves our country,” Trump said — the NATO response to his pal Putin’s invasion of Ukraine (he’s “not impressed”), and his claims that he can still be reinstated as president because of “massive election fraud.”
You can read the entire Washington Post interview with former president Donald Trump here (Paywall — subscription required).
Original reporting by Josh Dawsey at The Washington Post.