Trump is getting ‘terrible advice’ by planning news conference on anniversary of Capitol riot, ex-aide says

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly getting “terrible advice” from his aides ahead of a press conference he plans to hold on the anniversary of the Capitol riot.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, who formerly served as Mr Trump’s director of strategic communications, told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that 6 January would be a good day for him to stay silent, and that the aides pushing him to speak on that day are making the wrong call.

“Well, it’s an interesting question because, keep in mind, the former president has also announced he’ll be hosting a press conference that day which, I think, if anything proves he’s still getting terrible advice from folks around him,” Ms Griffin said. “This would be a wise day for him to stay silent, to let those who were victims on Capitol Hill talk about that very important and solemn day.”

She said she does not expect to see a reticent or apologetic Mr Trump during the press conference, but rather expects him to continue pushing election lies.

“But I think instead you’ll hear a very sort of, you know, the tone from him that this was — reiterating the lies that the election was stolen, saying that those who are being tried for the insurrection are political prisoners,” she said. “So it’s going to put Republicans on Capitol Hill in a very, a very tight position to be in. What side of this are they going to come down on?”

Democrats on Capitol Hill will hold their own events at the same time as Mr Trump’s press conference on the anniversary.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that there would be a number of events remembering the attack on the Capitol, including testimonials from lawmakers, a prayer vigil with members of the Senate, and a panel discussion with historians to “establish and preserve the narrative” of 6 January.

The narrative of 6 January has been contentious, as some Republican lawmakers, like Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, have sought to reframe the event as an instance of Democrats using the state to punish “patriots” expressing their First Amendment rights, as opposed to a failed insurrection attempt.

Mr Gaetz began trying to spin the narrative of the Capitol riot just hours after it took place, telling lawmakers that “antifa” was actually behind the attack, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Other Republicans, like Senator Ron Johnson, denied the hours of video footage showing Trump supporters attacking police and threatening lawmakers.

“We’ve seen plenty of video of people in the Capitol, and they weren’t rioting. It doesn’t look like an armed insurrection when you have people that breach the Capitol – and I don’t condone it – but they’re staying within the rope lines in the rotunda,” he said. “That’s not what armed insurrection would look like.”

Perhaps the most egregious of lies from Republican lawmakers concerning the riot came from Congressman Andrew Clyde, who told a hearing that based on the TV coverage of the event “you would actually think it was just a normal tourist visit.”

Mr Clyde was photographed hiding and barricading himself during the riot.

Despite their best attempts to downplay the riot, more than 700 people have been arrested for participating in the attack, and many have since been charged and sentenced to prison.

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