Jan. 6 Report Describes Derelict In Chief Channel Surfing Through The Insurrection

Chapter 7 of the January 6 Select Committee Report describes "187 Minutes of Dereliction" — capping off four straight years of gross dereliction by Donald Trump and his team of degenerates. After the Secret Service refused to take him to the Capitol, the president returned to the White House, where he was informed at 1:27 p.m. that there was a riot at the Congress.

“Oh really?” Trump said. “All right, let’s go see.”

After which he spent the next three hours "seeing" it unfold on his television screen and doing fuck all about it. No calls to officials in the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, or Justice. No effort to have the Secret Service help quell the violence. Not even a call to Vice President Mike Pence to ensure that he and his family were safe. Because, in case it wasn't clear from the prior six chapters of this document, the violence we all witnessed on our television screens was exactly what he intended to happen.

"Instead, President Trump reached out to Rudolph Giuliani and friendly Members of Congress, seeking their assistance in delaying the joint session of Congress. And the President tweeted at 2:24 p.m., at the height of the violence, that his own Vice President lacked the 'courage' to act — a statement that could only further enrage the mob," the committee writes, noting that the White House call log for that period is mysteriously blank, while the official photographer was barred from documenting Trump's movements.

The story of the report writ large is one of a president hellbent on staying in office despite having lost the election by 7 million votes. He'd failed in the courts, failed to pressure local election officials, failed with state legislators, failed with the Justice Department, and failed to persuade Vice President Pence to steal the election for him by rejecting swing state electors. All that was left was the mob, which he whipped into a frenzy, resisting efforts to remove references to Pence in the draft of his speech, and ad libbing several more before the armed crowd on the Ellipse.

He promised his supporters he'd join them as they descended on the Capitol “to try and give our Republicans — the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help — we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” He famously lost his shit when the Secret Service refused to take him to the Capitol. And he did nothing to halt the riot, even as everyone but Giuliani begged him to tell the mob to go home. Because he didn't want them to go home — he wanted them to stay and finish the job.

“[These] aren’t my people, you know, these are — these are Antifa,” he told Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy when McCarthy phoned to beg Trump to call off his dogs.

“They’re your people. They literally just came through my office windows, and my staff are running for cover. I mean, they’re running for their lives. You need to call them off,” he shot back.

“Well, Kevin, I guess they’re just more upset about the election theft than you are,” Trump responded.

Meanwhile, his henchmen were more worried about their own reputations than the health of a democracy they'd spent months undermining by feeding lies about election fraud.

“This is hurting all of us,” whined Laura Ingraham in a 2:32 p.m. text to Mark Meadows, adding that "We lose all credibility against the BLM/Antifa crowd if things go south.”

"This doesn’t help our cause," moaned Rep. Barry Loudermilk at 2:44 p.m.

“This his [sic] one you go to the mattresses on," Donald Trump Jr. said, exhorting Meadows to get Trump to make a statement. "They will try to fuck his entire legacy on this if it gets worse.”

“We all look like domestic terrorists now,” Hope Hicks texted Ivanka Trump's chief of staff Julie Radford, later messaging White House lawyer Eric Herschmann: “I’m so upset. Everything we worked for wiped away."

Well, not the million people dead of coronavirus because Trump put the pandemic response in the hands of his dipshit son-in-law and turned public health measures into yet another front in the neverending culture war. They're not wiped away. And neither is his shameful legacy of stoking racial hatred and turning Americans against each other as he shredded every unwritten norm and a whole bunch of written laws. That shit is permanent. But, yeah, fomenting a coup is the kind of thing that people do tend to remember first.

Meanwhile back at the White House, Meadows was focused on the important business at hand: making sure that Mike Pence, who was then in hiding from the mob in the basement of the Capitol, didn't make Trump look bad. With Trump MIA, it fell to Pence to authorize a response from the Defense Department, and Meadows, who showed precious little interest in containing the violence, was hot to contain the storyline:

“We have to kill the narrative that the Vice President is making all the decisions,” General Milley recalled Meadows as saying. “We need to establish the narrative, you know, that the President is still in charge and that things are steady or stable,” Meadows said, which General Milley described as a “[r]ed flag.”

It should be noted that Meadows, who refused to cooperate with the committee, wasn't so encumbered by his obligation to protect executive privilege that it stopped him writing a book about it. And in that book, he lied and claimed that Trump never intended to go to the Capitol that day, because Mark Meadows, like so many of Trump's sycophants, is rancid pond scum.

Or, like Trump's body man turned loyalty enforcer Johnny McEntee, dumber than pond scum:

In his last phone call of the night, the President spoke with Johnny McEntee, his Director of Personnel.

“[T]his is a crazy day,” the President told him. McEntee said his tone was one of “[l]ike, wow, can you believe this shit . . .?”

Did he express sadness over the violence visited upon the Capitol? “No,” McEntee said. “I mean, I think he was shocked by, you know, it getting a little out of control, but I don’t remember sadness, specifically.”

This chapter hits several of the most shocking episodes touched on in the public hearings. The committee points to Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony that, after failing to convince Trump to put out a statement condemning the violence, Meadows shrugged it off, telling White House Counsel Pat Cippolone, “You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they're doing anything wrong.” We're reminded that Trump knew damn well that the crowd was armed when he exhorted them to descend on Congress: “I don’t [fucking] care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the [fucking] mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Take the [fucking] mags away.”

It repeats some of the more outrageous parts of the speech he finally did put out, telling his followers to go home when it was clear they'd already lost the battle: “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!” and "We love you. You're very special."

And it reminds us that Trump had the power to restore order instantaneously, he just chose not to:

At 4:25 pm, just eight minutes after President Trump tweeted his video, an Oath Keeper named Ed Vallejo messaged other members of his group, a fair number of whom were at the Capitol: “Gentleman [sic], Our Commander-in-Chief has just ordered us to go home. Comments?”

The chapter ends with a damning exchange between Brad Parscale, who got unceremoniously booted from the second campaign, and Katrina Pierson, a true believer who coordinated with the White House to plan the rally:

Brad Parscale, Trump’s Former Campaign Manager, texted Katrina Pierson at 7:21 p.m. on January 6th, saying the day’s events were the result of a “sitting president asking for civil war.”

“This week I feel guilty for helping him win . . . a woman is dead,” Parscale added.

“You do realize this was going to happen,” Pierson answered.

“Yeah. If I was trump [sic] and knew my rhetoric killed someone,” he said. “

It wasn’t the rhetoric,” she said.

Parscale’s reply: “Yes it was.”

Because of course it was. He intended to use violence to maintain his hold on power. And if our legal system isn't capable of handling that, then it'll happen again.

[January 6 Select Committee Report]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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