Axios believes they know why Donald Trump canceled his January 6th presser in the free state of Florida:
Before Donald Trump canceled his planned Jan. 6 press conference, several key allies — including hardline Fox News host Laura Ingraham and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — made clear they thought it was a bad idea to invite the national media to Mar-a-Lago to mark the deadly riot.
Why it matters: Trump would have inevitably used his press conference Thursday to portray the rioters as political prisoners, whitewash their actions that day and lie about a “stolen election.”
First of all, Ingraham isn’t hardline, she’s normal, they’re hardline, and she’s a very bright attorney. Secondly, Axios doesn’t know what he was going to say. Even his history tour ally, Bill O’Reilly, didn’t know what he was going to say.
- Divisions had widened between the former president and congressional Republican leaders over how to handle the anniversary.
- Trump — like his most fervent allies — wanted to go on offense.
- Congressional leaders wanted to narrowly condemn the rioters, avoid criticizing Trump or assigning any responsibility to him, and quickly pivot to attacking Democrats over their handling of the Jan. 6 investigation.
House and Senate leaders had no involvement in planning Trump’s event — which they viewed as a political headache.
- They were quietly relieved when they saw his statement Tuesday evening announcing he was canceling the press conference.
- The withdrawal leaves Steve Bannon and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) as perhaps the only high-profile Trump allies willing to go on the offense through media appearances Thursday.
Behind the scenes: Graham, a frequent phone and golfing buddy of Trump, was one of those who urged him to cancel the press conference.
Ingraham, another influential Trump ally, strongly signaled during her show Monday night she thought Trump shouldn’t hold a press conference on Jan. 6.
Trump would never have consulted with the congressional leaders on it. Who would after the way they behaved? However, a J6 presser was a terrible idea in view of the media/Democrat Party operation of disinformation, misinformation, and lies. Anything he said would have been distorted unless he took a very presidential approach but the Q&A with reporters would have been a danger zone.