Peter Navarro, a top White House economic adviser to former President Donald Trump, explained to MSNBC's Ari Melber on Tuesday night that Trump wouldn't have wanted his supporters to besiege the Capitol last Jan. 6 because the violence messed up their plan, concocted with Steve Bannon, to overturn President Biden's 2020 victory.
"This plan we had, called the 'Green Bay Sweep,' clearly between constitutional and legal lines, [was] to basically have only legal votes counted in the election," Navarro said. Melber invited Navarro to "go ahead and tell us, in your own words, what was the plan, and who was in on it besides you, Bannon, and Trump?" And he did.
With help from more than 100 congressmen and senators, "we were going to challenge the results of the election in six battleground states" Biden won where "we believed that if the votes were sent back to those battleground states and looked at again, that there would be enough concern amongst the legislatures that most or all of those states would decertify the election," Navarro said. "That would throw the election to the House of Representatives." All this plan required "was peace and calm on Capitol Hill," he said, adding that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) "started the Green Bay Sweep beautifully" at 1 p.m.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
"You just described this plan as a way to take an election where the outcome was established" and "legal remedies had been exhausted" all the way to the Supreme Court, Melber recapped. "Then you will use the incumbent losing party's power — that was the Republican Party that was losing power — to overtake and reverse that outcome. Do you realize you are describing a coup?" Navarro didn't accept the premise, arguing, for instance, that the elected secretaries of state in Michigan and Pennsylvania "were put in power by George Soros."
"Your presumption is the remedies were exhausted; my presumption is the remedies weren't exhausted at all," Navarro said. "The remedy was for Vice President Pence, as the quarterback in the Green Bay Sweep, to remand those votes back to the six battleground states." He blamed "Mike's betrayal of President Trump" largely on Pence's "Never Trump" chief of staff, Marc Short. Melber had a different takeaway. "We have an entire system designed to thwart — and I want to say this respectfully, but it's the truth — people like you," he said. "People like you are what the Constitution are designed to stop, and it worked."
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.