Capitol Riot

Every White House Staffer Wanted Donald Trump to Tell Rioters to Leave US Capitol But He Refused

'Almost everybody wanted President Trump to instruct the mob to disperse - President Trump refused,' Rep. Adam Kinzinger said

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, said every staffer in the White House wanted former President Donald Trump to tell rioters to leave the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as destruction was ongoing.

In a prerecorded interview with the Jan. 6 committee investigating the Capitol Riot, Cipollone said the majority of staffers believed Trump needed to make a significant public statement condemning the violence and telling the rioters to go home.

As the violence spread through the Capitol's halls, Trump had only sent two tweets telling the rioters who were breaking windows, assaulting police officers and defacing historic property to "stay peaceful" and "remain peaceful."

Cipollone went as far as naming individuals who thought Trump should take stronger action in refuting the rioters, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, security aide Gen. Keith Kellogg and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

"I can't think of anybody, you know, on that day who didn't want people to get out of the Capitol once ... the violence started," Cipollone said.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, was seen outside the Capitol before things escalated raising his fist to the crowd outside. The Jan. 6 committee showed footage of Hawley running through the hallways of the Capitol escaping the riots later that day.

When asked if Trump did not want rioters to leave, Cipollone said "I can't reveal communications. But, obviously. I think, you know. Yeah."

After the video of Cipollone's interview was shown on Thursday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, said though Cipollone was being careful about not divulging too much information due to executive privilege, his testimony shows Trump wanted the rioters to remain at the Capitol.

"There really is no ambiguity about what he said. Almost everybody wanted President Trump to instruct the mob to disperse - President Trump refused," Kinzinger said.

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

Contact Us