For nearly two weeks before the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol on January 6, then-President Donald Trump frequently told the Secret Service that he wanted to march to the Capitol. , The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing two people familiar with testimony before the House committee on Jan. 6.
The agency charged with protecting the president had declined Trump’s demands. But once Trump told his supporters on Jan. 6, “We’re going down to the Capitol” and “I’ll be there with you,” the Secret Service took steps to try to make it happen, including asking the police of DC to block intersections for a motorcade, according to the report. DC law enforcement refused to do so due to the bulk of their personnel monitoring protests and later protecting the Capitol from rioting Trump supporters.
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Job that a review of his records revealed no operational plans for Trump to join his supporters on Capitol Hill.
Trump was eventually brought back to the White House, where he watched TV, spoke to lawmakers over the phone about the election cancellation and complained on Twitter about Vice President Mike Pence, who was transferred in a safe place in the Capitol. It wasn’t until several hours later that he finally posted a video telling his followers to go home. But if Trump had succeeded, he would have been there with them. “The Secret Service wouldn’t let me,” Trump told the Job in April. “I wanted to leave. I wanted to go so badly. The Secret Service says you can’t go. I would have been there in a minute.
Trump’s chief of staff at the time, Mark Meadows, said Trump told him after his “Stop the Steal” speech that his sentence on the march to the Capitol should not be taken at face value. “When he came off stage, President Trump let me know that he had spoken metaphorically about the march to the Capitol,” Meadows wrote in The chief of the chief. “He knew as well as anyone that we couldn’t organize such a trip on such short notice. It was clear the whole time that he had no real intention of walking down Pennsylvania Avenue with the crowd.