Trump kept having to retape his video telling fans to leave the Capitol riot, which may explain his 187-minute silence during the attack, January 6 committee chair says
Trump was silent for more than three hours after his supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6.
The January 6 committee is trying to understand why Trump took so long to speak to his supporters.Rep. Bennie Thompson said Trump had to retape his video telling his supporters to leave the Capitol.
President Donald Trump had to reshoot a video during the Capitol riot because "he wouldn't say the right thing" to tell his supporters to go home, the chair of the January 6 committee said.
"It appears that he tried to do a taping several times, but he wouldn't say the right thing," Rep. Bennie Thompson told The Washington Post, citing witness interviews and media reports.
Publicly, Trump remained silent for 187 minutes after his supporters breached the Capitol on January 6. The committee investigating the riot is trying to understand why the former president took so long to speak as it weighs recommending criminal charges against him.
Thompson's comments follow increasing speculation that Trump's behavior during the riot could mean he illegally obstructed Congress.
Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the January 6 committee, previously suggested that the committee could find Trump guilty of criminal obstruction.
In the video he eventually put out on January 6, Trump told his supporters at the Capitol to go home and called the mob very special people.
Thompson told The Post that the fact that Trump had to keep retaping the video was of interest to the committee because it could help explain why he took so long to speak.
The reasons for Trump's delayed response were significant because they could help the committee decide whether to make a criminal referral against Trump, Thompson said.
In that case, Congress would inform the Justice Department that it believed a crime was committed, and federal prosecutors would decide whether to bring charges against Trump.
"One of those concerns is that whether or not it was intentional, and whether or not that lack of attention for that longer period of time, would warrant a referral," he told The Post.
Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.