Trump called crowd gathered for his speech before Capitol riot 'loving' in March audio recording
July 22, 2021 at 03:51
Washington (CNN) Former President Donald Trump in March called the crowd that had gathered for his speech before the deadly US Capitol insurrection "loving" in an exclusive audio recording obtained by CNN.
"I think it was the largest crowd I've ever spoken before.
It went from that point -- which is almost at the White house -- to beyond the Washington monument.
It was -- and wide.
And it was a loving crowd, too, by the way," Trump said in the audio recording taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker during an interview for their new book, "I Alone Can Fix It."
"There was a lot of love.
I've heard that from everybody.
Many, many people have told me that was a loving crowd," the former President added.
Trump's comments underscore the vast GOP effort to downplay the Capitol riot.
In the months since January 6, the former President and Republican lawmakers in both chambers have offered false accounts of the attack that conflict with reams of video evidence, criminal charges filed against participants and law enforcement officials' testimony.
In May, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would've created an independent commission to investigate the deadly attack, and earlier Wednesday, House Republicans balked at participating in the House committee that's looking into the insurrection.