As the Capitol riots were taking place on January 6 and police officers were being attacked and killed by swarming crowds of pro-Trump protesters, Ivanka Trump insisted that the entire melee was little more than an “optics issue” that could be managed by putting the right spin on the unfolding horror.
That’s one of several stunning revelations from the latest book by Michael Wolff, Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency, which will be released on July 27 by Henry Holt and Co. An excerpt of the book appears in New York magazine.
You probably recall that Trump told supporters at the White House on January 6 that it was time to march on the Capitol and he would be there with them when they did. But according to Wolff, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows immediately squashed that idea:
One of the Secret Service agents hurried to get Meadows aside and tell him the president said he was planning to march to the Capitol with the protesters.
“No. There’s no way we are going to the Capitol,” said Meadows.
As the protesters began to assemble outside the Capitol, Trump and his inner circle were inside the White House. Ivanka Trump was one of those, and she felt there was no need to worry about what was transpiring as protesters carrying Trump flags breached the Capitol where Congress was convened in a joint session to ratify the Electoral College ballot:
At the same time, no one in the White House was seeing this as the full-on assault on the Capitol and the nail in the coffin of the Trump administration that the world would shortly understand it to be; they were, for perhaps another 90 minutes or so, still treating this as “an optics issue,” as Ivanka was putting it.
For his part, the president couldn’t fathom that those loyal to him would act in such a fashion:
“How bad is this? This looks terrible. This is really bad. Who are these people? These aren’t our people, these idiots with these outfits. They look like Democrats.”
Two weeks later, on January 20, Joe Biden was sworn in as 46th president of the United States. Trump was just a bad memory, a footnote in history.
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