Walkie-talkie communications disclosed Thursday between members of the Oath Keepers who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 show that some members of the militia group took President Trump’s tweet urging supporters to “support our Capitol Police” to mean that members of Congress were fair game for attack.
The House Jan. 6 Committee revealed the private communications between members of the group, recorded on the day of the Capitol riot, during its prime-time hearing Thursday.
“He didn’t say not to do anything to the congressmen,” one member of the Oath Keepers said in reference to Mr. Trump’s tweet.
“He did not ask … to stand down,” another member of the group said in response. “He’s just said stand by the Capitol Police.”
The back and forth was in response to Mr. Trump’s post on Twitter as the mob stormed the Capitol, in which he told his supporters: “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
“There’s no safe place in the United States for any of these motherf——-rs right now,” one of the Oath Keepers said, referring to lawmakers.
Thursday’s hearing focused on the inaction of Mr. Trump at the White House during 187 minutes while his supporters attacked the Capitol, trying to stop the electoral vote count of the 2020 presidential election won by President Biden.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told the committee that he and others said they repeatedly advised that Mr. Trump should put out a statement telling the rioters to go home.
Former deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in videotaped testimony, “I thought we needed to encourage individuals to stop, to respect law enforcement and to go home.”
Multiple White House aides said that Mr. Trump’s statements on Twitter throughout the riot failed to quell the protest and instead added fuel to the fire.
The panel is expected to have additional hearings in September ahead of the November midterms.