Donald Trump still hasn’t learned his lesson.
More than a year after Jan. 6, 2021, Trump told The Washington Post in an interview Wednesday that he regrets not marching to the U.S. Capitol that day with the rioters who swarmed the building.
“Secret Service said I couldn’t go,” Trump said. “I would have been there in a minute.”
Consider for a moment what the former president is saying. When he thinks back to a day that left several people dead and more than a hundred police officers injured, his great regret is not having marched with the crowd towards the Capitol building. Not that people lost their lives. Not that lawmakers feared for their well-being. Not that it took him several hours to watch the riot unfold on TV before issuing a lukewarm plea for the rioters to go home.
Even by Trumpian standards, it’s appalling. But that’s not the only amazing thing he said in the interview with the Post.
Trump also focused on the size of the crowd at the “Stop the Steal” rally he addressed before the riot. “The crowd was way bigger than I even thought,” he said. “I think it was the biggest crowd I’ve ever spoken to. I don’t know what that means, but you see very few pictures. They don’t want to show pictures, fake news don’t want to show pictures.
Again, let’s be clear about what Trump is doing here. He wants credit for drawing a large crowd for a rally expressly aimed at protesting the 2020 election — the same crowd that later stormed the Capitol and left chaos and destruction in its wake.
So, to sum up, the two biggest issues of January 6 from Trump’s perspective are:
1) He couldn’t march to the Capitol with the rioters.
2) The media did not accurately reflect the size of the crowd.
In short: he just doesn’t understand. Or he doesn’t care to get it.
For Trump, Jan. 6 was just another day he drew a big crowd and the media gave him no credit. This is the lesson he “learned” from that day.
What matters. Not just because Trump seems blissfully unaware of what happened — and what he sanctioned that day — but because Trump looks and sounds a lot like someone who will run for president again in 2024.
Trump appears not to have thought for even a minute about the role he played on Jan. 6 — and what an insurrection on Capitol Hill means for the present and future of democracy.
In fact, in the interview with the Post, Trump continued to suggest that he could — and should — be reinstated, one way or another, as president. Of course, President Joe Biden won the 2020 fair and square election, and there is absolutely no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
“I believe when you see massive voter fraud, I can’t imagine someone who won the election based on fraud, something not happening,” he asked. . “How did this not happen?” If you’re a bank robber, or a jewelry store robber, and you walk into Tiffany’s and steal their diamonds and get caught, you have to return the diamonds.
Remember that those who do not learn – or choose not to – learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Which makes what Trump said on Wednesday all the scarier.