After announcing to the state of New Hampshire that he had aced his cognitive test, Donald Trump incorrectly blamed Republican rival Nikki Haley for being in “charge of security” during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection on the Capitol.
During a rally in Concord, New Hampshire on Friday evening, Trump spiraled into a bizarre rant about crowd sizes and the Capitol riot. “Look at all the people back there. You got a lot of people. This is supposed to be a quaint little area. This is not quaint at all,” Trump titillated before a crowd of supporters. “You know when [Haley] comes here she gets like nine people, and the press never reports the crowds you know.”
Trump then appeared to confuse the former South Carolina governor with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who he has previously used as a scapegoat for the Capitol attack. “By the way, they never report the crowd on Jan. 6. You know Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley… You know, they — do you know they destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence, everything? Deleted and destroyed all of it. All of it,” Trump falsely claimed. “Because of lots of things… like Nikki Haley is in charge of security — we offered her 10,000 people, soldiers, National Guards, whatever they want. They turned it down. They don’t want to talk about that. These are very dishonest people.”
In September 2023, during a “Meet the Press” interview with NBC’s Kristen Welker, Trump baselessly alleged that the violence on Jan. 6 could have been prevented if Pelosi (the Speaker of the house in 2021) had accepted his offer to use the National Guard ahead of his “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C.
“She turned down 10,000 soldiers,” the former president said, claiming that Pelosi was in charge of Capitol security. “If she didn’t turn down the soldiers, you wouldn’t have had January 6th.”
“Capitol police said that he wanted it and Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t accept it,” Trump added. “She’s responsible for January 6th.”
As CNN fact-checked, the Speaker of the House is not charge of security at the Capitol and that the responsibility belongs to the Capitol Police Board, an oversight body whose approval was needed to call in the National Guard to defend the Capitol complex.
Rolling Stone previously reported in 2022 that documents obtained by the Project on Government Oversight have shown that critical errors in the Capitol Police’s handling of intelligence prior to the Jan. 6 attack on Congress contributed to the agency’s failed defense of the Capitol.
While Trump’s false and dangerous meanderings during rally speeches have included claims that he’d be a dictator only on “day one” if re-elected president to fondly waxing that the Civil War could have been “negotiated,” the GOP frontrunner dominated the Iowa caucuses on Monday — a sign that his supporters are eager to move on from the ex-president’s four indictments as he steps closer towards a third Republican presidential nomination.