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Retired US general says the Trump White House 'was complicit in the planning' of the January 6 insurrection

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donald trump at rally
President Donald Trump at the "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington, DC, on January 6. Tasos Katopodis/Getty
  • Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré told MSNBC the Trump White House was complicit in planning the Capitol riot.

  • Honoré also suggested Trump's White House was behind the delayed federal response that day.

  • Honoré conducted a review of the US Capitol's security after the attack.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who was tasked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with conducting a review of the US Capitol's security after January 6, on Tuesday said President Donald Trump's White House was complicit in orchestrating the insurrection.

"It's my personal opinion that the executive branch was complicit in the planning and the delayed response that occurred in bringing in more federal assistance to the Capitol that day," Honoré said during an MSNBC appearance, underscoring that he had not reached this conclusion from the security review he spearheaded.

"That's my own perception, based on what I've seen and what I've heard and by the fact the former president is continuing to tell people, 'This was not a riot, it meant no harm, it was like a picnic,'" Honoré said, adding, "The last I heard from him, he told them to go to the Capitol and raise hell."

Read more: The definitive oral history of how Trump took over the GOP, as told to us by Cruz, Rubio, and 20 more insiders

During an incendiary speech near the White House shortly before the violence at the Capitol, Trump told lies about the 2020 election and called on his supporters to "fight like hell."

Trump was impeached for provoking the insurrection, but he was acquitted in the Senate with the help of his Republican allies - including GOP lawmakers who had said he bore responsibility for the deadly riot.

There are open questions about why law enforcement was unprepared for that day and what caused the delayed federal response. A Capitol Police intelligence assessment from three days before the insurrection raised alarm about the potential for violence from Trump supporters on January 6, saying that "Congress itself is the target," according to a 104-page report from the Capitol Police inspector general.

Federal investigators are looking into the insurrection, and the House has opened an investigation into its origins and the security failures surrounding it.

In the weeks leading up to the Capitol attack, Trump engaged in an unprecedented effort to overturn the election results. As Trump spread baseless allegations of mass voter fraud, the president and his allies put forward dozens of legal challenges; all of them failed.

Trump urged his supporters to attend a "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington, DC, on January 6, when congressional lawmakers would gather to certify Joe Biden's victory. "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump tweeted on December 19. "Be there, will be wild!"

During his speech, Trump pushed his supporters to march on the Capitol. "You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong," Trump said. "We fight like hell, and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."

What happened next was among the most shocking events in US history and the most significant breach of the US Capitol since the War of 1812.

Trump effectively sat by and watched as the violence unfolded. Hours later, he called on his supporters to disperse, releasing a video in which he repeated his lies about the election and said the insurrectionists were "very special."

In testimony on Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the insurrection, four police officers who were subjected to violence that day excoriated Trump and his Republican defenders. One of the officers referred to the insurrectionists as "terrorists," while another denounced the Capitol attack as an "attempted coup."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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