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Trump said he and the Capitol rioters 'wanted' the same thing and bragged about the size of the crowd on January 6, new book says

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capitol siege riot ladder
Rioters clash with police at the Capitol. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Trump embraced the Capitol rioters and said he and his loyalists wanted the same thing, a book says.

  • "Personally, what I wanted is what they wanted," he said.

  • Trump made these remarks during a March 31 interview with two Washington Post reporters.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

President Donald Trump embraced the Capitol rioters and said he and his loyalists wanted the same thing, according to an excerpt of a new book by the Washington Post reporters Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

The former president said that his supporters, more than 500 of whom have been criminally charged in connection with the riot on January 6, simply wanted to "show support" for him, according to the book. Many of these supporters also say they believe Trump's baseless claim that the election was "rigged" and "stolen" by Democrats.

"Personally, what I wanted is what they wanted," Trump told Leonnig and Rucker during a March 31 interview at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

"They showed up just to show support because I happen to believe the election was rigged at a level like nothing has ever been rigged before," he added. "There's tremendous proof. There's tremendous proof. Statistically, it wasn't even possible that [Biden] won. Things such as, if you win Florida and Ohio and Iowa, there's never been a loss."

When pushed to explain what he wanted his supporters to do on January 6, Trump said he wanted them to march to the Capitol but not invade it. The former president also took the opportunity to brag about the size of the crowd that gathered for his speech before marching to the Capitol, as he demanded.

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

"I would venture to say I think it was the largest crowd I had ever spoken [to] before," he said, according to an excerpt of "I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year" published in Vanity Fair on Monday. "It was a loving crowd, too, by the way. There was a lot of love. I've heard that from everybody. Many, many people have told me that was a loving crowd. It was too bad, it was too bad that they did that."

And Trump also repeated his baseless claim that the Capitol Police were "ushering people in" to the building, despite the fact that many of the rioters attacked police officers, smashed windows, broke down doors, and muscled their way through barricades to illegally enter the Capitol.

"The Capitol Police were very friendly," Trump said. "They were hugging and kissing. You don't see that. There's plenty of tape on that."

More than 140 Capitol and Metropolitan police officers were injured on January 6. One Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, died following multiple strokes after he was sprayed with a substance during the attack. Two other officers died by suicide after the riot.

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