Trump Pressured the Secret Service to Let Him March to the Capitol on Jan. 6: Report

For nearly two weeks prior to the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Capitol attack last Jan. 6, then-President Donald Trump frequently told the Secret Service that he wanted to march to the Capitol, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing two people familiar with witness testimony to the House Jan. 6 committee.

The agency tasked with protecting the president had declined Trump’s requests. But once Trump told his supporters on Jan. 6, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol” and “I’ll be there with you,” the Secret Service took steps to try to make it happen, including asking D.C. police to block intersections for a motorcade, according to the report. D.C. law enforcement declined to do so due to the bulk of their personnel monitoring protests and later protecting the Capitol from riotous Trump supporters.

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Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told the Post that a review of its records found no operational plans to have Trump join his supporters at the Capitol.

Trump ultimately was transported back to the White House, where he watched television, spoke with lawmakers over the phone about overturning the election, and complained on Twitter about Vice President Mike Pence, who was moved to a secure location in the Capitol. It was not until several hours later when he finally posted a video telling his supporters to go home. But if Trump had his way, he would’ve been at there alongside them. “Secret Service wouldn’t let me,” Trump told the Post in April. “I wanted to go. I wanted to go so badly. Secret Service says you can’t go. I would have gone there in a minute.”

Trump’s chief of staff at the time, Mark Meadows, recounted that Trump told him after his “Stop the Steal” speech that his line about walking down to the Capitol wasn’t to be taken literally. “When he got off stage, President Trump let me know that he had been speaking metaphorically about the walk to the Capitol,” Meadows wrote in The Chief’s Chief. “He knew as well as anyone that we couldn’t organize a trip like that on such short notice. It was clear the whole time that he didn’t actually intend to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue with the crowd.”

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