The Associated Press spread disinformation on Tuesday in its blind adoption of the Jan. 6 Committee’s made-up timeline of the Capitol riot.
In a preview of Thursday’s hearing, which is set to feature two former White House aides during prime time, the AP reported that the pair will offer new details about President Donald Trump’s conduct as a mob of supporters overwhelmed Capitol Police.
“Previous hearings have detailed chaos in the White House and aides and outsiders were begging the president to tell the rioters to leave,” the AP wrote, before adding (emphasis added),
But he waited more than three hours to do so, and there are still many unanswered questions about what exactly he was doing and saying as the violence unfolded.
The wire service’s Tuesday reporting was already picked up by the Los Angeles Times. Trump’s supposed three-hour delay, however, which has been repeatedly highlighted by members of the Jan. 6 Committee, is contradicted by detailed timelines from both The Washington Post and The New York Times.
According to the Times, the first barriers of the Capitol building were breached at 2:13 p.m. The Washington Post timestamps the first break in at 2:15 p.m. Trump’s first tweet addressing the rioters was published at 2:38 p.m., with the president pleading for peace after just 23 minutes.
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement,” Trump wrote. “They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
About 30 minutes later, Trump addressed the demonstrators again on the same platform.
“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence!” the president wrote. “Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order — respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
At 4:17 p.m., or two hours after the first barriers were breached, the president tweeted out a video demanding that rioters leave the Capitol — a video that Twitter promptly removed.
False claims of a three-hour delay come directly from the Jan. 6 Committee itself. In December, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney charged the president with waiting “187 minutes” and said he “refused to act” while demonstrators swarmed the Capitol. In an interview with ABC News last week outlining plans for the upcoming hearing, Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., explained that members will comb through those “187 minutes.”
The New York Times regurgitated that same false timeline on Friday, headlining its own preview coverage of the latest prime time show trial with, “Jan. 6 Panel to Dissect Trump’s 187 Minutes of Inaction During Riot.” The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin followed suit on Tuesday with a piece titled, “Why we should care about the 187 minutes.”
“The House Jan. 6 select committee on Thursday will provide a blow-by-blow account of the 187 minutes that passed during the Capitol siege in which Donald Trump did nothing to rescue lawmakers and his own vice president from the mob he unleashed,” Rubin wrote. The Post columnist made no mention of the president’s tweets during those 187 minutes, during which time she claims he “did nothing.”