Filmmaker Alex Holder: Trump saw violence on Jan 6. as an “inevitability”

British documentary filmmaker Alex Holder, who spent weeks filming the Trump campaign and interviewing President Trump and his family members, said it came as no surprise to him that Jan. 6, 2021, culminated in violence. Holder believes the president saw it as “an inevitability.” 

“I actually said the night before —  I was sort of half joking — and I said, ‘You know, the president’s going to tell everyone to march on the Capitol.’ This was the night before Jan. 6, and we sort of prepared for that potentially happening,” Holder told “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell Thursday in his first interview since his deposition with the House select committee investigating the attack. 

Holder spoke to the committee for more than two hours on Thursday. 

Holder said he expected Trump to call on his supporters to march to the Capitol because “the volume of rhetoric, and sort of the belligerence that was coming out post-election, was so significant.” 

“It eventually had to end with something violent,” Holder said. “Even if you look at the way the campaign was going on before, the idea of the election being something that was going to be irregular was already coming up during that time as well. So to me, Jan. 6 doesn’t happen by itself.” 

Holder added, “I think the president saw it as inevitability, in that the people that were there were doing what he thought was to be correct, which was that they were fighting for their election and for their votes to be counted.” 

House committee investigators have hours of footage from the filmmaker’s upcoming three-part documentary series. Holder began filming the series in September 2020. He interviewed Trump once before the riot and twice after. In all, he has about 120 hours of footage of the campaign, he said. 

“The first time [we spoke after Jan. 6], he did come across as quite irate and quite depressed and frustrated. The second time, which was in Bedminster, in New Jersey, he certainly came across more jovial and content,” Holder said of his last two interviews with Trump. 

Throughout this month’s Jan. 6 hearings, investigators have played depositions of those close to Trump, including his eldest daughter Ivanka, who was also interviewed by Holder. 

In her deposition, Ivanka Trump was asked about her reaction to Attorney General Bill Barr announcing there was no widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. 

“It affected my perspective,” she told the committee. “I respect Attorney General Barr. So I accepted what he was saying.” 

Ivanka Trump backed father’s election challenge in video


But in a clip of her interview with Holder, which was exclusively obtained by CBS News, she struck a different tone. 

“As the president has said, every single vote needs to be counted and needs to be heard,” Ivanka Trump said. “And, he campaigned for the voiceless, and I think a lot of Americans feel very, very disenfranchised right now and really question the sanctity of our elections. And, that’s not right … and it’s not acceptable. He has to take on this fight. … And he wants to make sure that their voice is heard and not muted, and will continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted, and that’s what he should do.”

According to the New York Times, which was first to report on the contents of Ivanka Trump’s interview with the film crew, the interview happened on Dec. 10, 2020, days after Barr publicly declared there was no widespread fraud. 

On Thursday, Holder met with the House committee behind closed doors. Following the meeting, Holder’s lawyer, Russell Smith, said that there were “inconsistencies” in Ivanka Trump’s remarks.

“That’s why we’re cooperating with the committee, and they can determine whether there was perjury or something less than that,” Smith told reporters.

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