The Ellipse, Washington, D.C. | January 6, 2021
Duration of rally: 4 hours and 50 minutes
Duration of President’s speech: 1 hour and 12 minutes
Former U.S. President Donald Trump called for his loyalists to rally in Washington, D.C., on the day that Congress was to certify the Electoral Vote count, January 6, 2021. The crowd largely insisted that the November 3rd, 2020, election was stolen from Trump, as he would elaborate during his speech: “It was rigged.” They were demanding that the results be overturned in Trump’s favor. “Stop the steal” they would chant.
Trump whipped up the enthusiasm of the crowd which led to a mob storming the U.S. Capitol. Trump made veiled suggestions that he approved of violence in his cause to overturn the election results.
The Hill reported:
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” Trump said. “You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated.
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically, make your voices heard today.” [3 hours and 46 minutes into the video]
The event was sponsored by Women for America First, co-founded and chaired by Amy Kremer. The organization is funded by dark money,* as reported by CNBC.
Several days before the rally, Trump took over the planning, and it became an official White House event.*
The rally attendees gathered on The Ellipse. The stage faced the Washington Monument, with the White House visible behind the stage.
At times, Trump seemed to be reading from a teleprompter.
The full video of the rally can be seen on C-SPAN. On this C-SPAN page, you can see a transcript of the President’s remarks taken from closed captioning.
President Trump spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C., held to protest the results of the Electoral College, which Congress was set to count later that day. “We will never give up. We will never concede,” he declared. President Trump repeated his unsubstantiated claims of fraud in both the November election and the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff election held the previous night. He railed against Republicans he deemed insufficiently supportive of his efforts to overturn the results and promised to “primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight.” The president also continued to publicly pressure his vice president, Mike Pence, to reject electoral votes in states that he lost. As the speech was concluding, Vice President Pence issued a statement saying he lacked the constitutional authority to dismiss the votes when the Congress met later that day.
Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump enters the stage around 3 hours and 29 minutes into the video. He starts to speak at about 3 hours and 31 minutes. The speech ends with Trump leaving the stage at 4 hours and 43 minutes.
In the early afternoon of Wednesday January 6, 2021, former U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to a rally crowd. It was styled as “March to Save America.”
Here are some gleanings from the speech. I’ve given approximate times into C-SPAN’s video when the quotes can be heard according to the hour and minute.
“The media will not show the magnitude of this crowd.” (3 hours and 31 minutes into the rally)
“We have hundreds of thousands of people here.* [Not true] And I just want them to be recognized by the fake news media…. These people are not going to take it any longer…. They came from all over the world actually [doubtful].” (3:32)
“The media is the biggest problem we have … the single biggest problem. The fake news and the big tech.” (3:32)
“We beat them four years ago. We surprised them. We took them by surprise. And this year, they rigged an election. They rigged it like they’ve never rigged an election before.” (3:32)
“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened, radical left Democrats … and stolen by the fake news media.
“We will never give up. We will never concede…. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.” (3:32)
“Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.” (3:34)
“We will stop the steal.” (3:34)
“I’ve been in two elections. I won them both, and the second one I won much bigger than the first. Okay? Almost 75 million people voted for our campaign. The most of any incumbent president by far in the history of our country. Twelve million more people than four years ago.” (3:34)
“And they say we lost. We didn’t lose.” (3:35)
“Does anybody believe that Joe had 80 million votes? … He had 80 million computer votes.* [not possible] It’s a disgrace.” (3:35)
“Take third world countries. Their elections are more honest than what we’ve been going through in this country. It’s a disgrace.” (3:35)
“Even when you look at last night …” [in the Georgia election for two Senate seats] (3:35)
“We will not let them silence your voices.” (3:36)
The crowd chants: “Fight for Trump!” (3:36)
The crowd chants: “We love Trump!” (3:39)
“You’re stronger. You’re smarter. You’ve got more going than anybody, and they try and demean everybody having to do with us, and you’re the real people. You’re the people that built this nation. You’re not the people that tore down this nation.” (3:42)
“You have to get your people to fight.” (3:43)
“We’re leading [in the November 3rd voting in the evening], and then in the morning, boom. These explosions of bullshit.” (3:44:25) [The crowd roars with approval, and then the crowd erupts in a rhythmic chant that I haven’t deciphered.]
“… our election was so corrupt that in the history of this country, we’ve never seen anything like it.” (3:45)
“We don’t have a free and fair press. Our media is not free. It’s not fair. It suppresses thought. It suppresses speech. It’s become the enemy of the people. biggest problem we have in this country.” (3:45)
“We’re going to walk down and I’ll be with you … We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women.” (3:46-7)
“… take back our country …” (3:47)
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength. And you have to be strong.” (3:47)
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically, make your voices heard.” (3:47)
“Our country has been under siege for a long time; far longer than this four-year period. We’ve set it on a much straighter course.” (3:48)
“We rebuilt the military…. Our military has been totally rebuilt.” (3:48) [Not true. It didn’t need rebuilding.]
“… many people don’t like us because we’ve done [accomplished] too much.” (3:50)
“We were going to sit home and watch a big victory. Everyone had us down for a big victory. Everything was going to be great. And now we’re out here fighting.” (3:50)
“Ten o’clock it was over.” [We were victorious.] (3:51)
“We set a record.” [It wasn’t close. Trump got 75 million popular votes to Joe Biden’s 81 million.] (3:51)
“It was a setup [in Georgia].” (3:52)
“It took them four years to devise [this fraud].” (3:53)
“As you know, the media has constantly asserted the outrageous lie that there was ‘no evidence of widespread fraud …’ You ever see these people? ‘While there’s no evidence of fraud.’ Oh really? Well, I’m going to read you pages … I hope you don’t get bored listening to it. Promise? Don’t get bored listening to it. Promise. Don’t get bored listening to it. All those hundreds of thousands of people back there [points to the back].” [The number is not close to being true as I pointed out before.] (3:56)
“The American people do not believe the corrupt fake news anymore. They have ruined their reputation. But you know, it used to be that they’d argue with me. So I’d fight. I’d fight, they’d fight. You’d believe me. You’d believe them … They had their point of view. I had my point of view. But you’d have an argument. Now what they do is they go silent. It’s called ‘depression’ [suppression?]. And that’s what happens in a communist country. That’s what they do. They suppress. You don’t fight with them anymore. Unless it’s a bad story. They have a little bad story about me, they make it ten times worse, and it’s a major headline.” (3:57)
[Mentions Hunter Biden with allegations of wrong-doing from 3:57:40 through 3:58:40.]
“No, we have a corrupt media. They’ve gone silent [concerning Hunter Biden]. They’ve gone dead.” (3:58)
“We don’t have a fair media anymore. It’s suppression…. And they’ve lost all credibility in this country.” (3:59)
[Recites unsubstantiated incidents of fraud. (4:03 through 4:09; then 4:11 through 4:12)]
[If the electoral ballots are not sent back to the states:] “You will have a president who lost all of these states. Or you will have a president, to put it another way, who was voted on by a bunch of stupid people who lost all of these states. You will have an illegitimate president … and we can’t let that happen.” (4:10)
“Every time I put out a tweet, even if it’s totally correct, totally correct, I get a flag. I get a flag. And they also don’t let you get on…. They don’t let the message get out…. I don’t care about Twitter. Twitter is bad news… If you want to get out a message, and if you want to go through big tech, social media… If you are a conservative, if you’re a Republican, if you have a big voice … they shadow ban you. And it should be illegal.” (4:12)
[So long as social media aren’t liable for the posted content, and they can ban you:] “… That’s going to be the end of the Republican Party as we know it. But it’s never going to be the end of us, never.” (4:13)
“This is a time for strength.” (4:13)
“They also want to indoctrinate your children in school by teaching them things that aren’t so. They want to indoctrinate your children. It’s all part of the comprehensive assault on our democracy, and the American people are finally standing up and saying ‘no’….” (4:13)
“Two months ago we had a massive crowd come down to Washington, and I said, ‘What are they there for?’ ‘Sir, they’re there for you.’” (4:13)
[Speaks disparagingly about Representative Liz Cheney. (4:14)]
“Remember I used to say in the old days, ‘Don’t go in[to] Iraq, but if you go in, keep the oil.’” (4:14)
[Speaks about allegations of election fraud in Wisconsin. (4:15-17)]
[Speaks disparagingly about Georgia’s secretary of state who recorded his conversation with ex-President Trump. (4:15-17)
[See the AP:
[Jeff Amy, Darlene Superville, and Jonathan Lemire. “GA election officials reject Trump call to ‘find’ more votes.” AP. January 4, 2021. Retrieved January 19, 2021. Contains a link to a transcript of the call. Also see a transcript of the call and listen: “Transcript: President Trump’s Phone Call With Georgia Election Officials.” The New York Times. January 3, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.]
[Speaks about alleged illegal votes in Georgia. (4:19-20)]
[Democrats — the radical left — want to steal elections. (4:20)]
“The radical left … knows exactly what they’re doing. They’re ruthless, and it’s time somebody did something about it. And Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country, and if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you….” (4:20-21)
[Again speaks about alleged illegal votes in Georgia. (4:21-24)]
“This election was stolen from you, from me, from the country. And not a single swing-state has conducted a comprehensive audit to remove the illegal ballots. This should absolutely occur in every single contested state before the election is certified.” (4:24)
[Speaks about alleged illegal votes in Arizona; then Nevada; then Michigan. (4:24-29)]
[Castigates Dominion voting systems. (4:29-31)]
“I could go on and on about this fraud that took place in every state. And all of these legislatures want this back.” (4:31)
Crowd chants, “We love Trump.” (4:32)
“When you hear, ‘While there is no evidence to prove any wrongdoing …’. This is the most fraudulent thing…. This is a criminal enterprise…. And the press will say, and I’m sure they won’t put any of that on there because that’s no good…. ‘While there is no evidence to back President Trump’s decision …’ I could go on for another hour…. There’s never been anything like it.” (4:32)
[Speaks about alleged illegal votes in Detroit and Pennsylvania. (4:32-33)]
“It’s a disgrace of the United States of America. Tens of millions of people are allowed to go vote without so much as even showing identification. In no state is there any question or effort made to verify the identity, citizenship, residency, or eligibility of the votes cast.” [A dubious allegation] (4:33)
“The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican Party if you don’t get tougher. They want to play so straight…. ‘Sure, yes the United States, the Constitution doesn’t allow me to send them back to the states.’ Well, I say yes it does, because the Constitution says you have to protect our country, and you have to protect our Constitution. And you can’t vote on fraud. And fraud breaks up everything, doesn’t it? When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules.” (4:33)
“So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do. And I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs [Republicans In Name Only] and the stupid people that he’s listening to.” (4:34)
[Speaks about alleged illegal votes. (4:34)]
“We won in a landslide. This was a landslide.” Crowd cheers.
“They said it’s not American to challenge the election. This is the most corrupt election in the history, maybe, of the world.” (4:35)
“… it’s so egregious, it’s so bad, that a lot of people don’t even believe it. It’s so crazy that people don’t even believe it. It can’t be true. So they don’t believe it. This is not just a matter of domestic politics. This is a matter of national security.” (4:35)
“So today, in addition to challenging the certification of the election, I’m calling on Congress and the state legislatures to quickly pass sweeping election reform. And you better do it before we have no country left.” (4:35)
“Today is not the end. It’s just the beginning. With your help over the last four years, we built the greatest political movement in the history of our country, and nobody even challenges that. I say that over and over, and I never get challenged by the fake news, and they challenge almost everything we say.” (4:35-6)
“But our fight against the big donors,* big media, big tech, and others is just getting started. This is the greatest in history. There’s never been a movement like that. You look back there, all the way to the Washington Monument,* it’s hard to believe. We must stop the steal, and then we must endure, that such outrageous election fraud never happens again, can never be allowed to happen again. But we’re going forward, we’ll take care of going forward. We gotta take care of going back.” (4:36)
“With your help we will finally pass powerful requirements for voter ID.* You need an ID to cash a check. You need an ID to go to a bank, to buy alcohol, to drive a car. Every person should need to show an ID in order to cast your most important thing, a vote. We will also require proof of American citizenship in order to vote in American elections…. We will ban ballot harvesting and prohibit the use of unsecured drop boxes to commit rampant fraud. These drop boxes are fraudulent…. They disappear; then they all of a sudden show up. It’s fraudulent. We will stop the practice of universal unsolicited mail-in balloting. We will clean up the voter rolls and insure that every single person who casts a vote is a citizen of our country, a resident of the state in which they vote, and their vote is cast in a lawful and honest manner. We will restore the vital civic tradition of in-person voting on election day, so that voters can be fully informed when they make their choice.” (4:36-8)
“We will finally hold big tech accountable, and if these people had courage and guts, they would get rid of section 230,* something that no other company, no other person in America, in the world has. All of these tech monopolies are going to abuse their power and interfere in our elections. And it has to be stopped, and the Republicans have to get a lot tougher, and so should the Democrats. They should be regulated, investigated, and brought to justice under the fullest extent of the law. They’re totally breaking the law.” (4:38)
“Together we will * drain the Washington swamp, and we will clean up corruption in our nation’s capital. We have done a big job on it, but … You think it’s a dirty business? It’s a dirty business. You have a lot of bad people out there.” (4:38)
“Despite everything we’ve been through, looking out, all over this country, and seeing fantastic crowds (although this, I think, is our all time record). I think you have 250,000 people,* 250,000! Looking out at all the amazing patriots here today, I have never been more confident in our nation’s future. Well, I have to say, we have to be a little bit careful. It’s a nice statement, but we have to be a little careful of this statement. If we allow this group of people to illegally take over our country, because it’s illegal, when the votes are illegal. When the way they got there is illegal. When the states that vote are given false and fraudulent information.” (4:39)
“We are the greatest country on earth, and we are headed and were headed in the right direction. You know, the wall is built. We’re doing record numbers at the wall. Now they want to take down the wall. Let’s let everybody flow in. Let’s let everybody flow in. We did a great job on the wall. Remember the wall? They said it could never be done. One of the largest infrastructure projects we’ve ever had in this country, and it’s had a tremendous impact, and we got rid of tax relief [?] and we got rid of all the stuff we had to live with.” (4:39-40)
“But now … the caravans are forming again. They want to come in again and rip off our country. We can’t let it happen.” (4:40)
“As this enormous crowd shows, we have truth and justice on our side. We have a deep and enduring love for America in our hearts. We love our country. We have overwhelming pride in this great country. We have it deep in our souls. Together we are determined to defend and preserve government of the people, by the people, and for the people. [Crowd cheers] Our brightest days are before us. Our greatest achievements still wait. I think one of our great achievements will be election security. Because nobody until I came along had any idea how corrupt our election was. And again, most people would stand there at nine o’clock [on election night] in the evening and say ‘I want to thank you very much,’ and they’d go off to some other life. But, I said, ‘something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. It can’t have happened.’ And we fight, we fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” (4:40-1)
“Our exciting adventures and boldest endeavors have not yet begun. My fellow Americans, for our movement, for our children, and for our beloved country — and I say this despite all that’s happened — the best is yet to come. [Crowd cheers] So we’re going to … walk down Pennsylvania Avenue … and we’re going to the Capitol, and we’re going to try and give … our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help. We’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.” (4:41-2)
“I want to thank you all. G-d bless you. And G-d bless America. Thank you all for being here. This is incredible. Thank you very much.” (4:42)
See some short excerpts from Trump’s speech in The Washington Post: “Trump issued a call to arms. Then he urged his followers ‘to remember this day forever!’” By Anne Gearan and Josh Dawsey, January 6, 2021.
- dark money – Brian Schwartz. “Pro-Trump dark money groups organized the rally that led to deadly Capitol Hill riot.” CNBC. January 9, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
- official White House event – According to Matthew Rosenberg and Jim Rutenberg, “Key Takeaways From Trump’s Effort to Overturn the Election,” The New York Times, Feb. 1, 2021. Retrieved January 31, 2021. “But at the turn of the year, Mr. Trump decided to join the rally himself, and the event effectively became a White House production, with several people close to the administration and the Trump campaign joining the team.”
- hundreds of thousands of people here – Not true. See: WJLA.“‘Save America March’ rally draws thousands on day two of demonstrations in D.C.” January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2021. The organizers’ projected attendance was 30,000 people.
- He had 80 million computer votes – A strangely wild and impossible statement. Apparently his followers aren’t troubled by something that defies logic.
- our fight against the big donors – Not true. Trump has no fight with big donors since he received plenty of money from them, if only as dark money.
- all the way to the Washington Monument – In truth, most of the National Mall was empty. Cameras had been turned in that direction earlier in the rally, although before Trump spoke.
- requirements for voter ID – Apparently, Trump is referring to presenting a photo ID at the polls. This fails to address mail-in voting.
- section 230 generally provides immunity for website publishers from third-party content.
- Together we will … – Trump is speaking as though he will be president for the next four years.
- 250,000 people – Trump began with an exaggerated 100,000, then it became “hundreds of thousands,” and now 250,000.