Trump removed lines from Jan. 7 speech saying rioters did not represent ‘our movement’
(The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump cut lines from a Jan. 7, 2021, address condemning the rioters who entered the Capitol the day prior as not representing him or “our movement.”
A draft of the speech marked up by Trump, shared by Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), includes additional evidence not shown by the panel during its Thursday hearing, its final one expected this summer.
The draft shows Trump used a sharpie to cross out a line saying, “I want to be very clear. You do not represent me. You do not represent our movement.”
A number of top White House aides say they were unsure why Trump made the changes he did, but they did oppose them.
“That needed to be stated forcefully,” Pat Cipollone, Trump’s White House counsel, said in an interview with the committee.
Trump also cut other lines dealing with the consequences rioters should face.
The prepared draft said he would encourage the Justice Department to prosecute rioters “to the fullest extent of the law. We must send a clear message. Not with mercy, but with justice. Legal consequences must be swift and firm.”
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, said the primary motivation for the address was to get out a stronger message condemning the riot than the administration had given had the day before. But there was also concern that the Cabinet might seek to remove Trump from office.
“The secondary reason for that was think about what might happen in the final 15 days of your presidency if we don’t do this. There’s already talks about invoking the 25th Amendment. You need this as cover,” she said in video shared by the committee.
The committee on Thursday showed Trump struggled while filming the video address to say the election is over, cutting himself off while reading from a teleprompter.
“But this election is now over. Congress has certified the results — I don’t want to say the election’s over, I just want to say Congress has certified the results without saying the election’s over, OK?” Trump said.
The committee showed two outtakes of Trump becoming frustrated after reading the line, “My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote.”
In one clip, he pointed his index finger down before starting over, and in the second, he slammed the podium.
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