Former President Donald Trump, in a recent interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker, made a bold assertion regarding the events of January 6, 2022, claiming that then-House speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected his offer of additional security personnel on that fateul day.
“Nancy Pelosi was in charge of security. She turned down 10,000 soldiers. If she didn’t turn down the soldiers, you wouldn’t have had Jan. 6,” Trump said.
Following this statement, Trump was questioned about his actions on that fateful day. He confidently responded, “I behaved so well, I did such a good job, Nancy Pelosi turned down 10,000 soldiers… if she didn’t do that…” Welker interjected, pointing out that Pelosi did not possess the authority Trump held as commander in chief.
“They testified against her, and they burned all the evidence. OK? They burned all the evidence. They destroyed all the evidence about Nancy Pelosi,” Trump said. The former president further emphasized Pelosi’s authority over the Capitol, stating, “National Guard not coming? I asked her [for them] to be there three days in advance, and she turned it down.”
“She says that that request was never officially made,” Welker countered. Trump, not to be deterred, continued, “The mayor of D.C. gave us a letter saying that she turns it down. OK, we have it. Nancy Pelosi also was asked, and she turned it down. The police commissioner of Capitol police…” As Welker attempted to interject, Trump persisted, “Capitol police said that he wanted it, and Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t accept it. She’s responsible for Jan. 6.”
“Nancy Pelosi’s responsible, and the Jan. 6 committee refused to interview her,” he added.
A representative for Nancy Pelosi responded to these allegations, stating, “As our office has said before, the former president’s allegations are completely made up.” The spokesperson further clarified, “As numerous independent fact-checkers have confirmed, Speaker Pelosi did not plan her own assassination.”
The decision to deploy National Guard troops to the Capitol is not solely in the hands of the speaker. The Capitol Police Board, comprising og the House sergeant at arms, the Senate sergeant at arms and the architect of the Capitol, holds this authority. This board chose not to deploy the guard before January 6. However, they did request assistance after the riot had already commenced. The troops arrived several hours later. The House sergeant at arms reported to Pelosi, while the Senate sergeant at arms reported to Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader at the time.
Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund has provided a different account of the events. Sund alleged that he requested assistance six times before and during the Capitol attack. Each of these requests, he claims, was either denied or delayed. Sund further stated that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving was apprehensive about the “optics” of declaring an emergency before the demonstrations and thus declined a National Guard presence.
Welker, during the interview, posed a direct question to Trump, “Mr. President, you have authority as commander in chief that no one else has. Do you think you showed leadership on that day?” Trump’s response was unwavering, “Yes, absolutely, I did.”
Trump also touched upon the possibility of pardoning himself before leaving office. He stated that he could have done so to avoid “fake charges” and “Biden indictments.” However, he chose not to, saying, “They want to arrest their political opponents. Only Third World countries do that, banana republics.” He further added, “I was given the option; I could have done a pardon of myself. You know what I said? ‘I have no interest.’”
The former president also addressed a claim made by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. Hutchinson had alleged before the Jan. 6 Committee that Trump had grabbed a Secret Service agent by the neck, demanding to be taken to the Capitol. Trump dismissed this claim as “ridiculous.” He also refrained from revealing how he watched the events of January 6 unfold, promising to share this information at a later time.
Pelosi responded to Trump’s remarks on Sunday during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show.”
“The former occupant of the White House has always been about projection. He knows he’s responsible for that, so he projects it onto others… shame on him,” Pelosi said.
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