Jul 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump resisted pressure to condemn Jan. 6 violence, witness testifies

A hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on July 21.
A hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on July 21. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews testified Thursday that after former President Trump attacked then-Vice President Mike Pence in a tweet on Jan. 6, he resisted calls from his staff to condemn the violence.

Driving the news: Matthews testified that after Trump's tweet, she urged then-press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to speak to the former president and tell him to send another tweet in an effort to end the violence.

  • "I thought the tweet did not go far enough," Matthews testified. "I thought there needed to be a call to action and he needed to condemn the violence."
  • Matthews recalled McEnany saying that Trump didn't "want to include any sort of mention of peace in that tweet."
  • "It wasn’t until Ivanka Trump suggested the phrase 'stay peaceful,' that he finally agreed to include it," Matthews recalled.

Matthews also testified that another Trump aide said that a tweet condemning the violence "would be 'handing a win to the media.'"

  • "I couldn’t believe that we’re arguing over this and in the middle of the West Wing," Matthews said, referring to disagreements in the West Wing over a tweet.
  • "So I motioned up at the TV, and I said, 'Do you think it looks like we’re effing winning? Because I don’t think it does.'"

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Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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