Former President Donald Trump argued that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “is responsible for January 6” in his first network interview since leaving office.
“Nancy Pelosi was in charge of security. She turned away 10,000 soldiers. If she hadn’t turned the soldiers away, January 6th wouldn’t have happened,” Trump said during a recent sit-down interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Trump declined to answer if he called the military or law enforcement that day, saying, “I behaved so well, I did such a good job, Nancy Pelosi turned down 10,000 troops… if she hadn’t done that… Welker challenged Trump that Pelosi did not have the authority he had as commander in chief.
“I understand that the police testified against them, the chief testified against them very strongly, the Capitol Police, great people,” Trump said in the interview broadcast Sunday. “They testified against her and burned all the evidence. OK? They burned all the evidence. They destroyed all evidence about Nancy Pelosi.”
PELOSI TOUCHES ‘HISTORIC MOMENT’ OF TRUMP’S CHARGE TO JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE
“She has authority over the Capitol,” Trump added. “Isn’t the National Guard coming?” I asked her [for them] to be there three days in advance and she refused.
Former President Donald Trump said former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was “responsible for January 6th.” (Getty Images)
“She says that request was never formally made,” interjected Welker, who recently took over the NBC show from former anchor Chuck Todd.
“The mayor of DC gave us a letter rejecting us. OK, we have it. Nancy Pelosi was also asked and she declined. The Capitol Police Commissioner…” Trump continues when Welker interrupts him. “Wait a minute,” he pressed, “the Capitol Police said he wanted it, and Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t accept it. She is responsible for January 6th.”
“Nancy Pelosi is in charge, and the January 6 committee refused to question her,” he said.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges arising from the special counsel’s January 6 investigation.
“As our office has previously said, the former president’s allegations are completely fabricated,” a representative for Pelosi told Fox News Digital in response to the interview.
“As numerous independent fact-checkers have confirmed, Speaker Pelosi did not plan her own assassination attempt,” the speaker added.
GOP front-runner and former President Donald Trump speaks at the Pray Vote Stand Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on September 15, 2023 in Washington, DC (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
The decision on whether to call National Guard troops to the Capitol is made by the so-called Capitol Police Board, which is made up of the House Sergeant-at-Arms, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and the Architect of the Capitol. The board decided not to call the Guard until Jan. 6, but ultimately asked for help after the unrest had already begun and troops arrived several hours later, according to the Associated Press.
The House sergeant-at-arms reported to Pelosi and the Senate sergeant-at-arms reported to Senator Mitch McConnell, a Republican who was then the Senate majority leader.
Officials on the board, along with former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, have disputed each other’s accounts of who requested the Guard and when. Both sergeants and the police chief resigned immediately after the attack. The Democratic-led House committee on January 6 never subpoenaed Pelosi.
Sund claimed to The Washington Post in an interview that he asked for help six times before and during the attack on the Capitol, but each of those requests was denied or delayed. He claimed House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving was concerned about the “optics” of declaring a state of emergency ahead of the demonstrations and opposed a National Guard presence.
Nancy Pelosi attends the SUPERPOWER DC screening at the MPA Screening Room on September 14, 2023 in Washington, DC. She recently praised the January 6 Committee for impeaching former President Donald Trump. (Shannon Finney/Getty Images for Paramount+)
“Mr President, as Commander-in-Chief you have authority that no one else has. “Do you think you showed leadership that day?” Welker asked Sunday. Trump said: “Yes, absolutely, I did.”
Trump insisted that he could have pardoned himself before leaving office to avoid the “false accusations” and “Biden indictments” he now faces, but “that would be the last thing I would have done.” “
“They want to arrest their political opponents. Only third world countries, banana republics, do that,” Trump said. “I was given the option; I could have pardoned myself. Do you know what I said? ‘I’m not interested.’”
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Trump also disputed former White House adviser Cassidy Hutchinson’s “ridiculous” claim to the committee on Jan. 6 that he allegedly grabbed a Secret Service agent by the neck and demanded to go to the Capitol. He refused to tell Welker how he watched the January 6 insurrection, promising to tell people at a later date. Outside the Oval Office on January 6, 2021, Trump urged people to go home and praised the police, the former president himself recalled in the NBC interview, but Welker noted that this came hours after the riots began.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Danielle Wallace is a reporter for Fox News Digital, covering politics, crime, police and more. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @danimwallace.
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