Retired US general says Trump White House 'was complicit in planning' of January 6 insurrection
- Retired Lieutenant General 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.
- He conducted a review of the US Capitol's security after the attack.
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Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré, who was tasked by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with conducting a review of the US Capitol's security after January 6, on Tuesday said former US 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 this conclusion was not reached as a result of 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 added. "The last I heard from him, he told people to go to the Capitol and raise hell."
During an incendiary speech near the White House shortly before fatal violence at the Capitol began, Trump peppered his supporters with lies about the 2020 election and called on them to "fight like hell."
Trump was impeached for provoking the insurrection, but was acquitted in the Senate with the help of his Republican allies - including GOP lawmakers that said he bore responsibility for the deadly riot.
There are open questions about why law enforcement was unprepared for that day, given prior warnings 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. "Congress itself is the target" on the 6th, the threat assessment said, per a 104-page report from the Capitol Police inspector general.
Federal investigators are continuing to look into the insurrection, and the House has opened up an investigation on the origins of the riot as well as security failures surrounding it.
In the weeks leading up to the Capitol attack, Trump engaged in an unprecedented effort to overturn the 2020 election results. As Trump spread baseless allegations of mass voter fraud, the president and his allies put forward dozens of legal challenges against the results - and all of them failed.
Trump repeatedly urged his supporters to attend a "stop the steal" rally in Washington, DC, on January 6 - when congressional lawmakers gathered to certify US President Joe Biden's Electoral College 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 at the time. "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 or large-scale breach of the US Capitol since the War of 1812.
As the deadly violence was ongoing, Trump effectively sat by and watched. It took hours for him to call on his supporters to disperse, releasing a video in which he repeated lies about the election that sparked the riot and referred to the insurrectionists as "very special."
In testimony before the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, four police officers who were subjected to brutal 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.
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