Former president Donald Trump edited and removed significant portions of a prepared speech to the nation that he delivered one day after a mob he incited breached the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, according to new materials released on Monday by the House committee investigating the attack.
The details regarding Trump’s edits to his speech, titled “Remarks on National Healing,” come after the committee released other materials showing that after the insurrection, Trump changed prepared statements to soften comments on the legitimacy of the election results and to be more sympathetic to the rioters.
Representative Elaine Luria, a Virginia Democrat and member of the committee, posted a video to Twitter on Monday morning that included testimony from multiple Trump White House officials saying they thought Trump needed to make a statement on Jan. 7.
“It took more than 24 hours for President Trump to address the nation again after his Rose Garden video on January 6th in which he affectionately told his followers to go home in peace,” Luria’s tweet reads. “There were more things he was unwilling to say.”
In the video, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and White House advisor, said that he spoke to other aides about drafting a statement to present to Trump.
“We felt like it was important to further call for de-escalation,” Kushner said.
In the draft of the speech displayed by the committee, significant portions are crossed out in thick black marker.
In part of a sentenced that reads, “Like all Americans, I am outraged and sickened by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem,” the words “and sickened” are crossed out.
Three sentences that were crossed out read: “I am directing the Department of Justice to ensure all lawbreakers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We must send a clear message — not with mercy but with JUSTICE. Legal consequences will be swift and firm.”
It took more than 24 hours for President Trump to address the nation again after his Rose Garden video on January 6th in which he affectionately told his followers to go home in peace.— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) July 25, 2022
There were more things he was unwilling to say. pic.twitter.com/cJBIX5ROxs
In another section of the speech, the phrases " I want to be very clear: you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement” are crossed out, leaving the section of the speech to read: “To those who engaged in acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country.”
When asked why Trump wanted those parts of the speech removed, Kushner said “I don’t know.”
Elsewhere in the speech, one part that reads that those who broke the law “belong in jail” is crossed out and replaced with writing that says “will pay.”
It is not clear who wrote the speech. When questioned, Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and advisor, identified the document as remarks that were prepared for Trump to read on Jan. 7.
“It looks like my father’s handwriting,” she said of the words written in.
Pat Cipollone, Trump’s former White House counsel, said that he thought Trump “needed to express very clearly that the people who committed violent acts, went into the Capitol, did what they did, should be prosecuted and should be arrested.”
In the video, John McEntee, former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office under Trump, said Kushner had encouraged him to “nudge this along” if Trump asked him about the Jan. 7 speech.
“He knew since I’m always with him that, ‘Hey, if he asks your opinion, try to nudge this along. This will help cool everything down,’” McEntee said Kushner told him.
McEntee said that “the fact that somebody has to tell me to nudge it along” indicated to him that Trump was reluctant to give the speech.
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White Houser chief of staff Mark Meadows who in a previous hearing provided shocking testimony about Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, said in the video that the remarks were in part motivated by concerns about Cabinet members invoking the 25th Amendment, which would have removed Trump from office.
“From what I understood at the time, and from what the reports were coming in, there was a large concern of the 25th Amendment potentially being invoked, and there were concerns about what would happen in the Senate if the 25th was invoked,” Hutchinson said.
Monday’s revelation comes after the committee during its Thursday hearing detailed an instance in which Trump, as authorities were working to quell the violence at the Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6, went “off the cuff” to tell the insurrectionists they are “special” and “we love you” in a speech recorded in the White House Rose Garden.
The speech as prepared said, “I am asking you to leave the Capitol Hill region NOW and go home in a peaceful way.”
Instead, Trump repeated baseless claims of election fraud, saying, “We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side.”
“So go home,” Trump continues in the Jan. 6 video. “We love you. You’re very special.”
The committee on Thursday also played outtakes of Trump attempting to record a Jan. 7 address and saying, “I don’t want to say the election is over.”
On Sunday, Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and the vice chair of the committee, said the panel will “contemplate a subpoena” for Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, if she won’t voluntarily meet with the committee.
In text messages obtained by the committee, Ginni Thomas urged Meadows to work to overturn the election results in the weeks after it was decided.
“We certainly hope that she will agree to come in voluntarily, but the committee is fully prepared to contemplate a subpoena if she does not,” Cheney told CNN. “I hope it doesn’t get to that. I hope she will come in voluntarily.”
The Jan. 6 committee plans to continue its hearings in September.