Saturday, January 22

The dirty little secret the Meadows texts reveal

(CNN) — They knew it. They all knew it.

The post on monday late night texts sent to former Trump White House Secretary General Mark Meadows on January 6 amount to a smoking gun when it comes to knowing whether those in and around the president were aware of the insurrection. growing of that day and of the role then President Donald Trump himself had to play.

There was Donald Trump Jr .: “You have to condemn this shit as soon as possible.”

And Sean Hannity: “Can you make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol?”

And Laura Ingraham: “Mark, the president needs to tell the people on Capitol Hill to go home. This hurts us all. He’s destroying his legacy.”

And Brian Kilmeade: “Please put him on television. Destroying all that he has accomplished.”

Mark Meadows no longer wants to appear against Trump 1:22

There is no doubt that, at the time, those with Trump’s ear, from his eldest son to his enablers at Fox News, were not only aware of what was happening in the United States Capitol, but were also pressuring Meadows (and presumably Trump) to do something about it.

As you may recall, Trump, for several hours (even while the Capitol was being looted) did nothing. When he finally released a video message in response to the riots, it was, um, something less than blunt.

“I know their pain. I know they are hurt,” Trump said. “We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a crushing election and everyone knows it, especially the other side.” He added: “It was a fraudulent election, but we cannot play these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You are very special.”

Trump’s lack of a quick and convincing response is compounded by the clear urgency of the warnings he was receiving from the people around him. The Meadows texts are also a bitter rebuke to the attempt to rewrite that day, not only by Trump, but also by his Republican enablers in Congress.

Recall that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spent much of this year downplaying what Trump knew and when.

“From what I spoke to President Trump, I was the first person to contact him when the riots were happening,” McCarthy told Chris Wallace in April about his phone call with Trump that day. “He didn’t see it. What he ended the call was saying … telling me that he would put something in to make sure it stops this. And that’s what he did, he took a video later.”

Trump did not stop his schedule when he tested positive for covid-19 1:28

That is not what happened. Here’s what happened, via the February reporting from CNN’s Jamie Gangel, Kevin Liptak, Michael Warren, and Marshall Cohen:

“Speaking to the president from inside the embattled Capitol, McCarthy pressured Trump to withdraw his supporters and became embroiled in a heated disagreement over who was in the crowd. Trump’s comment that would-be insurgents cared more about the results election that McCarthy was first mentioned by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington State Republican, at a city hall earlier this week, and was confirmed to CNN by Herrera Beutler and other Republicans briefed on the conversation. “

The question here is simple: those closest to Donald Trump spent January 6 trying to make it clear to him that what was happening in the United States Capitol had to be stopped, and that he was the only person who could make that happen. . He spent hours refusing to do anything, and when he finally released a video asking his followers to disperse, it was peppered with conversations about a “rigged” election and a result that had been “stolen” from us.

What is truly surprising is that this is not even the worst that these texts reveal. The worst thing is this: Even knowing what they told Trump on January 6 about the seriousness of what was happening, many of these same people spent the last year doing their best to minimize it all, arguing that the whole thing was exaggerated by the media and its Democratic facilitators.

That, to me, is the truly terrible thing about all this. Know the right thing (and even ask Trump, in the moment, to do the right thing) and then spend the next 11 months publicly pretending you didn’t? Disgusting.

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