Donald Trump's Secret January 6 Files Include Outtakes of His 'Go Home' Video

Former President Donald Trump needed half a dozen attempts to record a video message urging his supporters to go home during the U.S. Capitol riots, January 6 committee chairman Bennie Thompson has said.

Trump's video takes are among records that Federal Court Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled the committee investigating the insurrection will have access to, Thompson told Cuomo Prime Time.

The Mississippi Democratic congressman said that video of what Trump said on the day of the insurrection was essential for his committee to come to a conclusion about what happened.

"The president, it took him six times for the video to say to the people to go home," Thompson told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump on January 6
Ex-President Donald Trump tells violent protesters to go home on January 6, 2021 as watched by a supporter in Salem, Oregon. January 6 committee chairman Bennie Thompson told CNN Trump had six attempts to produce the video message. Nathan Howard/Getty

"If in the midst of an insurrection, it takes you six times to...ask the people to go home, something is wrong with that," Thompson said, "I want to see what the other five videos said."

When Cuomo asked "what was wrong with the other five?" Thompson replied, "well, we want to see what he said."

"His own people said to him, 'this is not good enough. You are not telling these people to go home.'"

Hours after the Capitol had been breached, the then-president called on his supporters to leave the building and stop the violence. He said: "You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order."

The claim that Trump had to make several attempts to get the video message right was also made in a book released earlier this year by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

While recording the video, Trump kept "veering off the script his speechwriters had prepared," according to the book, I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year.

"The version released was the most palatable option," the book said, although it claimed that only three takes were required.

Thompson told CNN on Tuesday, "We want the public to know what the president of the United States was saying to the citizens of the United States in the midst of an insurrection."

Because they were part of archived records, Thompson said "we will now have access to those videos" he said.

Chutkan said Tuesday that Trump cannot invoke executive privilege to block communications he made in connection to the events leading up to the riots.

The National Archives said it will begin handing over records to the House committee, although there is likely to be an appeal. The documents include notes, White House call logs, video logs and schedules.

"There are a lot of things said and written that we will have access to based on this court decision," Thompson said.

When contacted for comment, a Trump representative referred Newsweek to a tweet by Taylor Budowich, the ex-president's director of communications.

"The battle to defend executive privilege for presidents past, present & future—from its outset—was destined to be decided by the Appellate Courts," the tweet said.

It added that Trump "remains committed to defending the Constitution & the Office of the Presidency, & will be seeing this process through."