British filmmaker Alex Holder told CBS News in a Thursday night interview that President Donald Trump viewed the Jan. 6 violence as “inevitability” and was “jovial” in the hours following the Capitol riot.
Mr Holder, whose documentary footage was reviewed by the January 6 committee, today testified behind closed doors about what he saw while following Mr Trump and his entourage in the months leading up to and following the election of 2020.
Following his testimony and the public release of some footage from his upcoming three-part documentary series which will premiere on Discovery+ later this summer, Holder spoke to CBS News – telling host Norah O’Donnell that he predicted the violence on January 6.
“The volume of rhetoric and the kind of belligerence that was showing after the election was so great that in my mind it had to end in something violent eventually,” Mr Holder said. “Even if you look at the way the campaign was going before, the idea that the election would be something irregular had already surfaced at that time as well. So for me, January 6 doesn’t happen by itself.
The surprise, Mr. Holder said, is that the events of January 6 were not worse.
“If you tell 75 million people their election doesn’t matter, and they believe you, that you’re their president and they voted for you, and you say their election doesn’t matter, then what else is going on?” said Mr. Holder.
The Capitol riot, of course, was almost worse. The Jan. 6 committee has heard testimony in recent weeks about the scale of the multi-faceted plot to undo the legitimate outcome of the 2020 election and keep Mr. Trump in power — a plot that is putting intense pressure on election officials and the takeover of government buildings.
Mr Trump’s supporters have 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 believed the people who stormed the Captiol on January 6 were “doing what he thought was right”.
Mr. Holder gained significant access to the president and recorded interviews with Mr. Pence, Mr. Trump and other figures like the former president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, although he said the Trumps did not had no editorial control over the production of the docuseries.
Mr Holder told Ms O’Donnell he believed his talks with Mr Trump would contain important revelations as the nation grapples with the unprecedented situation of a sitting president apparently trying to orchestrate a coup against the government.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that while Mr. Holder initially believed that Mr. Trump was insincere about his claims that the election had been wrongfully stolen from him, he changed his mind after sitting down with the president.
“After that interview, I remember being struck by how wrong I was,” Mr Holder told theTime. “He believed 100% that the election had been taken away from him.”
Mr Holder said he was interviewing Mr Pence when the vice president received an email about the possibility that he might be called upon to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare Mr Trump unfit to serve, although an aide of Mr. Pence said on Thursday that the moment was not portrayed clearly or accurately and that the footage released shows Mr. Pence reacting to his own letter in response to a request from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he cites the amendment.
Mr Holder, who is British, was linked to the former president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner through longtime Trump associate Jason Greenblatt.
The Independent Gt