Speed Reads

change of plans

Behind Trump's decision to cancel his Jan. 6 news conference

Much to Republican party pleasure, former President Donald Trump on Tuesday night canceled a press conference he had scheduled for Jan. 6, blaming the media and the "total bias and dishonesty" of the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack for his decision.

But according to some Trump insiders, there might be more to the president's change of plans than meets the eye, Axios reports. For one thing, many House and Senate leaders had no desire to help plan or deal with Trump's event, which they knew would cause a media firestorm. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), for instance, confirmed he discussed the matter with Trump over the weekend and warned him of the "peril in doing a news conference."

Fox host Laura Ingraham, "another influential Trump ally," also signaled on her show Tuesday night that Trump should ixnay his presser. "Is it smart for President Trump to do a rally on that particular day, versus next week or the week before?" she asked Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), who didn't take the bait as planned.

Trump apparently wanted to use the event to "make a scene" and "deride reporters," a source told The Washington Post, but was repeatedly told such a presser would likely facilitate unfavorable coverage. The ex-president also reportedly "did not know exactly what he wanted his message to be," having announced the conference on a whim and without a concrete plan.

"It was going to be awful, awful press," one Trump adviser said.

According to Politico, a small group of "close allies" eventually approached Trump and convinced him to change his mind, arguing his planned remarks would be "playing into the media's hands."

Said one confidant to Politico: "No matter what he said, it would be reported as more egregious than it was."