Former President Donald Trump has reiterated his claims that the 2020 presidential election had been rigged against him and described his supporters, who heard him speak on Jan. 6, as a “loving crowd” in newly released audio files.
Pulitzer Prize Winner Washington Post Journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker shared audio clips from their two-hour interview with Trump that was conducted as part of the research for their book. I alone can fix it: Donald J. Trump’s disastrous last year.
The writers spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday and aired part of their interview with Trump asking about the Capitol Riot and his speech on the Washington, DC Ellipse that preceded it.
Trump described the crowd listening to his speech as “loving”.
“I think it was the biggest crowd I’ve ever spoken to,” said Trump.
“It went from this point – which is almost by the White House – to past the Washington Monument. It was – and far. And it was also a loving crowd, by the way.”
“There was a lot of love. I’ve heard this from everyone. Lots and lots of people have told me it was a loving amount,” he said.
The former president said of the event: “Personally, I wanted what they wanted.”
“They only showed up to show their support because I believe the elections have been rigged to a level that has never been rigged before,” he said.
Trump said he did not want his supporters to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, but said they were “brought in by the police” and that the Capitol police “hugged and kissed them.”
If for a comment from. reached News week On Thursday, Trump’s spokeswoman Liz Harrington referred to reports from police officers opening gates and taking selfies with the rioters, including a video report from CNN. She also noted members of the crowd chanting, “We love you” during Trump’s January 6 speech.
The former president claimed in his remarks to Leonnig and Rucker that the 2020 presidential election had been rigged. He claimed the dead and “illegal immigrants” voted, as well as “Indians paid to vote in various places”.
He also said that state legislatures did not approve many aspects of voting in the 2020 election, including in some cases early voting and postal voting, and reiterated his criticism of the Supreme Court for failing to act in the election on allegations of fraud have.
Trump also spoke about the role of former Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, reiterating his disappointment with Pence who refused to reject the electoral college results.
“I didn’t tell him anything,” said Trump, but said the Vice President must “protect the United States Constitution” if “you have more votes than voters.”
“I don’t think he’s supposed to be just a statue that gets those votes from the states and hands them over immediately,” Trump said.
The former president also suggested that Pence may not be his runner-up if he runs for another term in 2024, saying he was “locked in nothing”.
Update 7/22/21 9:31 PM ET: This article has been updated to include a response from the office of former President Trump.