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Trump called crowd gathered before Jan. 6 riot ‘loving’

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner pledges to support Trump if he makes another bid for the White House Biden says he doesn’t want voting rights ‘wrapped up’ in filibuster debate Club for Growth goes after Cheney in ad, compares her to Clinton MORE in the months after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol called the crowd he spoke to on the Ellipse ahead of the attack “loving,” according to audio published by The Washington Post late Wednesday. 

The remarks came in a March interview with Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker for their new book “I Alone Can Fix It,” which was published Tuesday after early excerpts revealed tensions among top administration officials in the lead-up and aftermath to the riot. 

In the newly released audio, Trump said in the interview from his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., that he hoped the crowd gathered for his Stop the Steal rally and other rallies on the National Mall that day would show their support for his unsupported claims of fraud in the 2020 election. 

“Personally, what I wanted is what they wanted,” he told the reporters, who repeatedly asked the former president what he hoped would have happened when he urged his supporters to march toward the Capitol. 

“They showed up just to show support because I happen to believe the election was rigged at a level like nothing has ever been rigged before,” he explained. 

Trump said that the people gathered to hear him and others speak at the rallies that day “was a loving crowd.” 

“There was a lot of love, I’ve heard that from everybody,” he continued. “Many, many people have told me, ‘That was a loving crowd.’”

Trump went on to say that he did not mean to tell his supporters to go into the Capitol building, where lawmakers were gathered to certify President BidenJoe BidenBiden says wages will need to increase to solve recruitment problems Caitlyn Jenner pledges to support Trump if he makes another bid for the White House Biden: Republicans who say Democrats want to defund the police are lying MORE’s Electoral College win, claiming that rioters were “ushered in by police.” 

“The Capitol Police were ushering people in, the Capitol Police were very friendly,” he asserted. 

While Democrats and others have raised concerns about whether some officers may have been complicit in the riot, citing video showing some reportedly moving barricades so rioters could break through and at least one officer who posed for a selfie with a rioter, Washington, D.C., and Capitol Police officers were among those who suffered severe injuries while attempting to respond to the rioting. 

Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died after sustaining injuries, and two other officers in the weeks following the mob attack died by suicide. 

The Hill has reached out to representatives for Trump for further comment. 

In the interview for the book, in which the reporters detailed that Trump told his vice president, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePoll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis Guess who undermined public confidence in vaccines? Pence v. Biden on China: Competing but consistent visions MORE, that he didn’t “have the courage” to reject the results of the 2020 election, the former president said that he is “not locked into anything” as far as a potential 2024 running mate, but added he was “disappointed” in Pence.

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