Discerning listeners may have noticed a slight change in tone from what Donald Trump was saying to his supporters prior to the January 6 assault on the US Capitol Building and what he said to them afterwards. Yes, the fiery rhetoric about voter fraud, stopping “The Steal,” pressuring faint-hearted Republican legislators and deriding Vice President Mike Pence for not unilaterally overturning the Electoral College vote was soon replaced by a much calmer, conciliatory Trump, who released a video condemning violence and announcing that anyone who invaded the Capitol was not a true Trump supporter.
As John and Aida discuss in this clip, the subdued, post-Capitol assault Trump was clearly saying whatever he was told to say in an effort to avoid culpability, and his lack of enthusiasm for the words coming out of his mouth was evident, but at the same time his supporters must have felt betrayed to be openly abandoned by the leader they so cultishly follow. Aida says that Trump’s mealymouthed denials will have little impact on his supporters’ dedication to the cause since they’re clearly already all in, but she says she would have been “pissed” if she were among their ranks and had to watch Trump back out on them in real time.
John, for his part, tries to give Trump at least a little credit for walking back the heated rhetoric (even while acknowledging that Trump is just covering his ass) because at a bare minimum the President of the United States is asking his own followers not to commit violent acts, so that’s a good thing, right?