"There was a lot of love": Trump gushes about Jan. 6 crowd in newly released audio

The former president said Jan. 6 events were largely friendly and peaceful

Published July 22, 2021 4:45PM (EDT)

Donald Trump | The US Capitol Riot on January 6, 2021 (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Donald Trump | The US Capitol Riot on January 6, 2021 (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

In newly released audio, former president Donald Trump once again restated his claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him and described supporters who heard him speak at the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6 as a "loving crowd."

Speaking in an exclusive interview for the new book, "I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year," Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker shared audio clips of their two hour interview with Trump conducted in late March at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla.

"There was a lot of love. I've heard that from everybody. Many, many people have told me that was a loving crowd," he said.

The former president said of the event: "Personally what I wanted is what they wanted. 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 went on to say the mob was "ushered in" by Capitol police and that the police were "hugging and kissing" them.

Trump also reiterated his disappointment in then-Vice President Mike Pence, discussing his role in the Jan. 6 attack after he refused to reject the results of the Electoral College.

If Trump runs for another term in 2021, he also suggested that Pence might not be his chosen running mate saying, "I'm not locked into anything."

By Brenley Goertzen

Brenley Goertzen is an editorial intern at Salon and a graduate student at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Follow her on Twitter @BrenleyGoertzen

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Capitol Riot Jan. 6 Stop The Steal Rally Trump Coup