UPDATED with latest: Alex Holder, who gave a deposition to the January 6th Committee on Thursday over the Discovery+ documentary he made about Donald Trump, said that he interviewed the president twice after the attack on the Capitol.
“The first time, he did come across as quite irate and quite depressed and frustrated,” he told CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell. “The second time, which was in Bedminster, in New Jersey, he certainly came across as more jovial and content.”
In excerpts released today by CBS News, O’Donnell asked Holder whether Trump expressed any remorse after January 6.
He said that people would have to “wait and see” from the project, but “I just genuinely feel that people might have a different impression about his reaction than I might have.” When O’Donnell asked him what was “staggering” about what Trump said after the Capitol attack, Holder said that it was “that he essentially gave the reason why they were there without fully understanding that he was responsible for that reason.”
Holder said that he is fully cooperating with the committee and had turned over materials. The committee had subpoenaed footage from the project.
Holder told O’Donnell that he was on Capitol Hill on January 6 because he and his crew had been covering Trump’s rallies in the post-election period, which included one on the Ellipse that day. “And I actually said the night before [January 6], I was sort of half joking and I said, ‘You know the president is going to tell everyone to march to the Capitol. …And we sort of prepared for that potentially happening.”
“To me, [the attack on the Capitol] wasn’t surprising and it’s obviously awful to sort of say this, but in some ways it’s like I thought it would be even worse.”
“If you are telling 75 million people their election doesn’t count, and they believe you, you’re their president, and they voted for you. and you’re saying their election doesn’t count, then what? What else is going to happen?”
“I think the president saw it as an inevitability in that the people who were there were doing what he thought was to be correct, which was they were fighting for their election and for their vote to be counted.”
O’Donnell said that Holder told her that the Trump family agreed to do the documentary because they believed Trump was going to win the election.
Holder also posted footage of a different interview with Trump, taken on December 5, 2020.
The Trumps did not have editorial control. Full stop. pic.twitter.com/gMWnGY83Dz
— Alex Holder (@alexjholder) June 23, 2022
In an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Holder said that the committee asked about his interview with Ivanka Trump, and whether there were inconsistencies between what she told the January 6th panel and what she said in the documentary.
In one clip from the project, Ivanka Trump said that her father “has to take on this fight,” seemingly supportive of the president’s election challenge. The New York Times reported that the interview was on Dec. 10, 2020. But Ivanka Trump testified to the January 6th Committee that after Attorney General William Barr said earlier that month that the Justice Department found no widespread fraud, she “accepted what he was saying.”
Holder told CNN that he told the January 6th panel “that there’s clearly a difference between the position that she gave to me and the position that she gave to the committee.”
At one point, Trump said that “he was now trying to find one judge that agreed with his position” that the election was stolen from him. “And this is the sitting president of the United States saying this in the White House. And that was actually very scary,” Holder said.
He also said that Trump never acknowledged that he lost.
“He absolutely, genuinely believes that he won and that the election was stolen from him,” he said.
He said in a statement afterward, “As I’ve stated previously, I have provided the committee with all requested materials and am fully cooperating with the investigation.”
He added, “I have no further comment at this time other than to say that our conversation was thorough and I appreciated the opportunity to share more context about my project.”
The committee subpoenaed footage from he three-part project, Unprecedented, as Holder has said that he received “unparalleled access and exclusive interviews” with Trump, his children, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Vice President Mike Pence. CNN reported that Holder’s attorney, Russell Smith, said that his client cooperated with the committee because there were “inconsistencies” in statements made for the documentary and that told to the committee. In one clip from the project, Ivanka Trump said that her father “has to take on this fight,” seemingly supportive of the president’s election challenge. The New York Times reported that the interview was on Dec. 10, 2020. But Ivanka Trump testified to the January 6th Committee that after Attorney General William Barr said earlier that month that the Justice Department found no widespread fraud, she “accepted what he was saying.”
Smith told reporters that the committee “can determine whether there was perjury or something less than that.”
Smith said in a statement that the Trumps “did not request, and were not granted, any editorial control over the series. To the contrary, Alex Holder said that the outset that he would have full editorial control. The Trumps also did not request any contractual right of control, or review, so there is none.” Smith told Deadline that they had not received any legal claim to the footage from Trump.
CNN also obtained footage from the documentary showing Pence being interviewed after the January 6th attack. During the interview, he received an email from one of his staffers that included a draft House resolution calling on him to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump. Pence told his aide, “Yeah, excellent.”