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Trump watched supporters attack Capitol on television as aides begged him to act, committee says

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Donald Trump watched his supporters storm the US Capitol on television while his senior staff begged him to call the rioters off, the January 6 committee has claimed.

Democratic congresswoman and committee member Elaine Luria introduced a prime-time hearing on Thursday by saying the committee would present evidence to show Mr Trump failed to act while the attack unfolded.

“This hearing is principally about what happened inside of the White House that afternoon, from the time when President Trump ended his speech until the moment when he finally told the mob to go home. A span of 187 minutes, more than three hours,” she said.

“What you will learn is that President Trump sat in his dining room and watched the attack on television while his senior-most staff, closest advisors and family members begged him to do what is expected of any American president,” the congresswoman added.

Republican committee member Adam Kinzinger said then-president Trump “did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the Ellipse and telling the mob to go home — he chose not to act.”

“The mob was accomplishing President Trump’s purpose. So of course he didn’t intervene,” he added.

The committee said its eighth public hearing would focus on Mr Trump’s refusal to condemn the violence being carried out in his name at the Capitol.

Vice-chair Liz Cheney, Republican congresswoman from Wyoming, said Mr Trump “never picked up the phone that day to order his administration to help”.

“He did not call the military. His Secretary of Defense received no order. He did not call his Attorney General. He did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security,” Ms Cheney said. “Mike Pence did all of those things; Donald Trump did not.”

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