Donald Trump attempted to spin his inflammatory speech ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection into something much more mellow and measured on Friday night.
The former president, during an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, claimed the incendiary address that whipped his supporters up into storming the U.S. Capitol in a bid to overturn the 2020 election was “extremely calming.”
“Honestly, I have nothing to hide,” Trump told Ingraham during a conversation about a federal appeals court’s refusal to let him block the release of records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 violence.
“I wasn’t involved in that,” Trump declared. “And if you look at my words and what I said in the speech, they were extremely calming, actually.”
The insurrection took place on election day, Trump said. The attack on the Capitol was just a protest, he added.
A transcript of Trump’s speech, though, shows him ranting repeatedly about the “fake news media,” pushing the baseless conspiracy theory that the election was “rigged” and vowing “never give up” and “never concede.”
“Our country has had enough,” he said at one point. “You’ll never take back our country with weakness”,” he added, encouraging supporters to “show strength” and “be strong.”
“And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he added. After the violence, Trump was impeached (for a second time) for incitement of insurrection.