Capitol Riot

Trump Refused to Follow a Video Script Telling Rioters to Go Home, Committee Showed

A former press aide said she was shocked by the video

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The videotaped statement that President Donald Trump made in the Rose Garden telling rioters to leave the Capitol deviated from a script that had been prepared for him, the House Jan. 6 committee showed Thursday night. Rep. Elaine Luria, a Democrat from Virginia, said Trump refused to use it.

He ignored this line: “I am asking you to leave the Capitol Hill region NOW and go home in a peaceful way.”

Instead, he said, “So go home. We love you. You’re very special."

And: "I know how you feel.”

Former deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews said she was shocked that Trump began the video “by pushing the lie” that the election had been stolen. 

"And as the video went on, I felt a small sense of relief because he finally told these people to go home," she said. "But that was immediately followed up by him saying, 'We love you. You’re very special.' And that was disturbing to me because he didn’t distinguish between those that peacefully attended his speech earlier that day and those that we watched cause violence at the Capitol."

She said that Trump’s refusal to act was “indefensible.” She knew she would resign at the end of the day.

"As a spokesperson for him, I knew that I would be asked to defend that and his refusal to act and call off the mob that day, and his refusal to condemn the violence was indefensible, and so I knew that I would be resigning that evening," Matthews said.

This is a live update. For more Jan. 6 hearings coverage, click here.

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