As the congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attack intensifies, Donald Trump is pitching some new talking points, which he took to Fox News on Friday night. Host Laura Ingraham asked the former president about his expectations regarding his Supreme Court appointees and his claims of executive privilege. The Republican eventually got around to saying:
"Honestly, I have nothing to hide. I wasn't involved in that. And if you look at my words and what I said in the speech, they were extremely calming, actually."
Let's take these one at a time.
First, the idea that Trump delivered an "extremely calming" speech ahead of the insurrectionist riot on Jan. 6 is demonstrably ridiculous. The then-president urged his supporters to "fight much harder" against "bad people" and "show strength" at the Capitol. "You'll never take back our country with weakness," he added. "You have to show strength."
He proceeded to suggest he wanted his enraged followers to stop the certification of the election results. From the transcript of his Jan. 6 remarks:
"Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that is what this is all about. And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.... You will have an illegitimate president. That is what you will have, and we can't let that happen.... We fight like hell, and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."
As rioters stormed the Capitol and attacked law enforcement officials, many said it was Trump who dispatched them. That's because the Republican did not — and did not intend to — deliver an "extremely calming" speech.
It's also why there was bipartisan support for his second impeachment soon after Trump incited the deadly violence.
But more amusing was the Republican's assertion on Friday night that he has "nothing to hide." It was a curious claim from someone who appears to have a great deal to hide.
Putting aside the obvious — Trump is still hiding his tax returns, for example — the former president has spent weeks fighting tooth and nail to keep important materials about the Jan. 6 attack hidden from congressional investigators, searching in vain for a judge who'll accept his dubious "executive privilege" claims.
At the same time, Trump has also ordered key members of his inner circle not to cooperate with the bipartisan Jan. 6 committee, including people who weren't working for the executive branch at the time.
For a guy who has "nothing to hide," the former president seems to have quite a bit to hide.