- Trump had a sharp exchange with NBC’s Kristen Welker when pressed about his response on January 6.
- “I’m not going to tell you anything,” he said on Sunday. “I behaved so well. I did such a good job.”
- The ex-president has been criticized for his response to the riot hours after it first began.
Former President Donald Trump, in an interview that aired Sunday, pushed back when asked about the timeline of his activities during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
While speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump told host Kristen Welker he wouldn’t comment on his activities during the earliest stages of the attack, when he was accused by former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham of “gleefully watching” the riot on television and and “hitting rewind” to view the mayhem.
Welker first questioned Trump about his whereabouts after he spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse, filled with pro-Trump loyalists incensed over the results of the 2020 election, which saw now-President Joe Biden defeat the then-incumbent president.
“Tell me how you watched this all unfold,” Welker asked the former president. “Were you in the dining room watching TV?”
Trump responded: “I’m not going to tell you. I’ll tell people later, at an appropriate time.”
Welker then asked: “What did you do when the Capitol was under attack, though?”
Trump replied: “Did you see the statements I made in the Oval Office and just outside of the Oval Office?”
After Welker replied that she was aware of his remarks from January 6, Trump spoke of the video that he released later that day asking people to leave the Capitol and respect law enforcement.
“This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people,” he said in his message at the time, falsely claiming that the 2020 results were illegitimate. “We have to have peace. So go home. We love you; you’re very special.”
During the Sunday interview, Trump elaborated on the message, calling it a “beautiful statement.”
Welker responded: “That was 4 o’clock in the afternoon, three hours after the attack started. I want to know who you called on that day.”
Trump declined to answer and shifted responsibility for security to then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, whom he sought to blame for the outbreak of the riot.
After Welker asked if Trump called military or law enforcement when the Capitol was first attacked, Trump again pushed back.
“I’m not going to tell you anything,” he said. “Let me put it this way. I behaved so well. I did such a good job.”
When pressed by Welker again, he then stated that he assumed Pelosi had the situation under control.
“Frankly, just so you understand, I assumed that she took care of it,” he said.
Trump has been widely criticized by Democrats and several members of his own party — including GOP presidential contender and former ally Chris Christie — for his response on January 6, arguing that he should have pushed back more forcefully against the riot immediately after it started.