New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America has been released today (Oct. 4) to a lot of buzz. The anticipated book, which features Haberman’s interviews with Donald Trump, reveals explosive new details about the former president that have until now gone largely unknown. Now, we have a better look into those tumultuous days of Trump’s time in office–and particularly, what he was doing during the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.
From the start, Trump has maintained a narrative of false innocence regarding his knowledge of and role in the insurrection; he claims he didn’t know about it as it was happening. However, a House committee member who investigated the attack stated that Trump was, in fact, glued to Fox News’s live coverage of the riots in a White House dining room–for over two hours. Of course, Trump strongly refutes this, and in Haberman’s new book claims that he was actually having meetings. Here is an excerpt from that particular interview:
Maggie: But what were you doing when… how did you find out that there were people storming the Capitol?
Trump: I had heard that afterward, and actually, on the late side. I was having meetings […] I was not watching television; I didn’t have the television on. I didn’t usually have that television on.
It’s a strange lie to hold on to, considering that Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia has said that there was no record of Trump placing or receiving any important calls that afternoon. Additionally, no photos were taken of him until after 4 p.m. But perhaps the most damning evidence on Trump’s behalf comes from a House committee interview with a former White House national security staffer, who said WH staffers during the riots were “in a state of shock” but received absolutely no orders or assistance from Trump. In fact, not much of anything was heard from Trump during those few hours. So if Trump wasn’t watching TV as he claims, where was he? Perhaps the currently ongoing Jan. 6 panel will reveal that to us in time.