Trump sat in dining room for hours on Jan. 6: ‘The president didn’t want anything done’

A photo of President Trump on a screen above the Jan. 6 panel members
A photo of then-President Trump, taken as he entered the Oval Office after speaking at the rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, is displayed at the House panel hearing Thursday.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

Then-President Trump sat in the West Wing’s dining room for more than 2½ hours after being informed of the violence raging at the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to evidence presented at Thursday’s congressional hearing on the insurrection.

“There is no official record of what President Trump did while in the dining room. ... The chief White House photographer wanted to take pictures because it was, in her words, ‘very important for his archives and for history.’ But she was told, quote, ‘no photographs,’” said Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.).

Trump was informed of violence at the Capitol within 15 minutes of leaving the stage after his speech at the Ellipse on the morning of Jan. 6. He then proceeded to remain in his dining room from 1:25 p.m. to 4 p.m. The White House call log during this time was empty as well, Luria said.

The House select committee investigating the violence said that Trump spent at least part of the time calling senators “to delay or object to the certification of votes.” It’s unclear which senators he called, Luria said. Trump also had a four-minute phone call with his campaign lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

While in the dining room, Trump made no phone calls to the National Guard, Department of Defense, FBI, Homeland Security, Secret Service or Capitol Police regarding the insurrection at the Capitol, according to evidence presented by the House committee.


The House committee also presented audio testimony from an anonymous former White House employee, who said: “The president didn’t want anything done.”