New audio of Trump on Jan. 6 insurrectionists: 'What I wanted is what they wanted'

Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, authors of the new book I Alone Can Fix It, chronicling former President Trump’s tumultuous last year in office, joined Anderson Cooper 360 on Wednesday, where they shared exclusive audio from an interview with Trump for the book. In the audio, which was chock full of rehashed falsehoods and conspiracies, Trump revealed that he and the Jan. 6 insurrectionists at the Capitol shared a common goal.

“I wanted — I mean, personally, what I wanted is what they wanted,” Trump said. “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.”

Trump went on to once again lament the fact that former Vice President Mike Pence didn’t personally overturn the election the day of the insurrection, a power that a vice president does not have under the Constitution.

“I think that the vice president of the United States must protect the Constitution of the United States, right?” Trump said. “And it says very, very clearly, protect the Constitution of the United States. I don’t believe he’s just supposed to be a statue who gets these votes from the states and immediately hands them over.”

If he were to run again in 2024, Trump was asked if he would choose Pence again as a running mate. After first saying that he’d be making that decision at some point, Trump went on to say, “I’m not locked into anything.” Asked what if Pence decides to run against Trump in a hypothetical primary, Trump responded, “Everybody, it’s a free country, right? It’s a free country. I always liked Mike. I was very disappointed and so were a lot of Republicans, very disappointed.”

In the run-up to the election, Trump repeatedly said he had to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election, because he believed the election would ultimately be decided by the court. Trump seemingly believed that having put three judges on the court, they would rule in his favor. But the Supreme Court refused to even hear any of Trump’s election challenges, and he revealed why he believes they made that decision.

“I’m very disappointed in the Supreme Court,” Trump said. “What do you think they were afraid of?” Leonnig asked. “I guess they thought that it would be violent, maybe,” Trump replied. “And it was violent the other way perhaps, I don't know. I guess they thought it would be violent.”

Anderson Cooper 360 airs weeknights at 8 p.m. on CNN.

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