British filmmaker Alex Holder tells the story CBS News in an interview Thursday night that President Donald Trump viewed the Jan. 6 violence as “inevitable” and was “jovial” in the hours after the Capitol riot.
Mr Holder, whose documentary footage was reviewed by the January 6 committee, testified behind closed doors today what he had seen following Mr Trump and his inner circle in the months before and after the 2020 election.
Following his testimony and the public release of select footage from his upcoming three-part documentary series, set to premiere on Discovery Plus later this summer, Mr. Holder spoke out CBS News – To tell host Norah O’Donnell that he predicted the January 6 violence.
“The amount of rhetoric and kind of belligerence that came out after the election was so significant that I felt it eventually had to end with something violent,” Mr Holder said. “Even if you look at the course of the election campaign so far, the idea came up that it would be an irregular election. So for me, January 6th doesn’t come by itself.”
The surprise, Mr Holder said, is that the events of January 6 were no worse.
“If you tell 75 million people their election doesn’t count, and they believe you, you’re their president and they voted for you, and you say their election doesn’t count, what else happens? happen?” said Mr. Holder.
The riot in the Capitol was, of course, almost worse. The Jan. 6 committee has heard testimony over the past few weeks about the scale of the multifaceted conspiracy to overturn the legitimate outcome of the 2020 election and keep Mr. Trump in power — a conspiracy involving intense pressure on election officials and the takeover of government buildings.
Trump supporters threatened violence against a number of elected officials, including Vice President Mike Pence. This apparently did not bother Mr. Trump. Mr Holder said Mr Trump felt the people who stormed the Captiol on January 6 were “doing what he thought was right”.
Mr Holder was granted extensive access to the President and he recorded interviews with Mr Pence, Mr Trump and other figures such as former President Ivanka Trump’s daughter, although he said the Trumps had no editorial control over the production of the docuseries.
Mr Holder told Ms O’Donnell that he believes his interviews with Mr Trump will contain important revelations as the nation grapples with the unprecedented situation of an incumbent President who appears to be attempting to stage a coup against the government.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that Mr Holder, although he initially believed Mr Trump was wrong about his claims that the election was stolen from him, changed his mind after sitting down with the president.
“I remember after that interview I was surprised at how wrong I was,” Mr. Holder saidTimes. “He believed 100 percent that the choice had been taken from him.”