- Donald Trump canceled a planned January 6 press conference.
- Aides persuaded him against the speech, fearing it would bring bad publicity, The Post reported.
- The former president had planned to berate reporters and had no clear message, the report said.
Donald Trump’s aides persuaded him to cancel a press conference scheduled on the first anniversary of the Capitol riot over concerns that the former president lacked a clear message and that the event could result in a backlash of bad publicity, The Washington Post reported.
Citing a person close to the matter, The Post reported that Trump wanted to make a scene or mock reporters at the event, and that he didn’t know exactly what he wanted his message to be.
“It was going to be awful, awful press,” a Trump advisor told the publication. They added that the former president had announced the event without a clear plan.
The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported that Trump was told that the event wouldn’t gain the media coverage he was hoping for.
—Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 4, 2022
Representatives for Trump didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Trump had been scheduled to hold the press conference at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in an apparent attempt at “counterprogramming” the events being held at the US Capitol to mark the attack.
Axios reported on Monday that Trump planned to defend the Capitol rioters and push conspiracy theories that anti-fascist groups or the FBI were to blame for the violence.
Legal experts told Insider’s C. Ryan Barber and Kimberly Leonard that the press conference would have run the risk of getting Trump into further legal trouble.
Trump’s departure from office was marked by a second impeachment over his role in inciting the riot. He was impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate. He’s the first US president to be impeached twice.
Since leaving the White House, Trump has continued to push baseless claims of election fraud in the 2020 vote — which inspired his supporters to attack the Capitol — defended protesters arrested after the attack, and praised a supporter who was killed by police during the insurrection.
In a statement on Tuesday announcing the cancellation of the January 6 event, Trump attacked the House commission appointed to investigate the riot and said he would instead address his grievances at his “rally on Saturday, January 15th, in Arizona — it will be a big crowd!”