Then-President Donald Trump knew there would be violence on Jan. 6, 2021, yet still used “Mafia-type” threatening rhetoric against his vice president to rev up his supporters, according to British documentary filmmaker Alex Holder.
“It was so obvious” there would be violence, Holder said on the Yahoo podcast “Skullduggery” earlier this week. This was Trump’s “last hurrah,” he added. “He obviously had this ridiculous idea that intervening in this ceremonial process of certifying these results could somehow prevent President Biden being inaugurated.”
Holder, who interviewed Trump and his family before and after the election for his documentary “Unprecedented,” was “absolutely” convinced there’d be violence that day and said it would be “unreasonable” to believe Trump thought otherwise.
Yet Trump, employing what Holder called a “wink, wink Mafia-type rhetoric,” was at the same time telling supporters he was “not going to be very happy” with Vice President Mike Pence if he didn’t toss out the election results at the Jan. 6 congressional session to certify the Electoral College count.
Trump took no action to prevent the violence. Nor did he tell his supporters on the day of the insurrection to leave the Capitol until hours after the violence had erupted. He also told the rioters: “We love you.”
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows,testified Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the insurrection that Trump was also aware people at his rally on the Ellipse that day had weapons. Yet he wanted them to be allowed to march to the U.S. Capitol with the rest of the crowd without having to go through screening stations, saying they weren’t “here to hurt me,” according to Hutchinson’s testimony.
Hutchinson also testified she was told Trump threw a tantrum and grabbed for the steering wheel of the SUV he was traveling in when the Secret Service refused to take him to the Capitol that day to join the insurrectionists.
Trump’s state of mind, his expectation of violence coupled with urging his supporters to “fight like hell” before the Capitol assault, and his plan to be part of it will likely play a role in decisions by the Department of Justice on whether or not to charge the former president with crimes related to the insurrection, according to The Associated Press.
In the Yahoo podcast, he called Trump “delusional” and “incredibly dangerous.” He described the former president as being in “cloud cuckoo land” over his baseless claims of a rigged election.
He’s “not a rational player. I mean, he just isn’t,” Holder said in his assessment of Trump based on a number of interviews with him. “You can’t have a conversation with him in the same way that you can have a conversation with most other people. He is somebody that lives in a different reality.”
He added: “You can’t debate with that person. There is no way that anybody can persuade Donald Trump that he’s wrong .... He will never accept that he’s done anything wrong. He will always double down, he’s always right, and it’s alway somebody else’s fault.”
Holder was granted extraordinary access to Trump and his children Ivanka, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. both before and after the 2020 election for his documentary. He compared the family to the grasping, conniving family of the “Succession” TV series on HBO.
They were comfortable talking to him because they all believed Trump would win reelection, Holder said.
They were “very, very confident they were going to win the election,” said Holder. Their “hubris was just absolutely remarkable.”
The full podcast can be heard below:
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.