White House records from the day of last year’s Capitol riots show that then-President Donald Trump did not make or receive calls through the executive mansion’s phone system for more than seven and a half hours.
The records, turned over by the National Archives to the House Committee on Inquiry into the Violence and obtained by the Washington Post and CBS News, show a gap from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. — a period covering the worst of the Violence of that day that forced the hour-long suspension of the joint session of Congress to count the 2020 Electoral College votes.
Twenty minutes after Trump’s 11:17 a.m. call began, which was recorded as being to an “unidentified person,” the 45th President left the White House for the “Stop The Steal” rally that sparked the riot. Records show Trump returned to the White House just after 1 p.m. and shows no presidential activity between 1:21 p.m. and 4:03 p.m
The gap in White House records contrasts with public reports of calls made by Trump that day.
In one instance, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) revealed that Trump accidentally called him, believing he was reaching out to Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).
“My phone rang shortly after the Senate case was stopped by Capitol Police,” Lee told Salt Lake Tribune reporter Bryan Schott in a text message. “Caller ID indicated the call came from the White House. I thought it was Robert O’Brien, the President’s National Security Advisor, calling to update me on a question I had asked him about a security threat from Iran.
“To my great surprise, it wasn’t Robert O’Brien, it was President Trump on the other end of the line,” Lee added. Lawmakers further recalled handing his phone to Tuberville, who spoke to Trump until police ordered the Senate chamber to be vacated.
Negotiations in the Senate and House of Representatives halted just after 2 p.m. as rioters entered the Capitol.
During the attack, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told CBS News he had asked Trump to make a televised address calling down his supporters.
“I told him he needed to speak to the nation,” McCarthy said at the time. “I told him what just happened … I said very clearly to the President when I called him: This has to stop, and he has to go to the American public and tell them to stop this.”
Given the lack of activity from the White House switchboard, the select committee is reportedly investigating whether Trump used aides’ phones or disposable “burner” phones to communicate that day. A committee member told the Washington Post the panel is also investigating a “possible cover-up” by the Trump White House.
Sources familiar with the 45th President’s activities told the outlet that throughout his presidency, Trump has been known to use different phones and occasionally call from different numbers.
“I have no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of my knowledge I’ve never heard of the term,” Trump said in a statement Monday night.
A spokeswoman for the former president noted that Trump had nothing to do with compiling or providing the recordings and assumed all of his calls were recorded and kept.
News of the gap in the phone log comes a day after a California federal judge ruled that Trump “most likely” attempted to illegally obstruct Congress on the day of the riots, citing his efforts to get Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the findings to discard states in several controversial cases.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/29/white-house-records-reveal-7-hour-gap-between-trump-calls-on-jan-6/ White House records show a 7-hour gap between Trump calls on Jan. 6