Jan. 6 hearing testimony: ‘Intoxicated’ Giuliani told Trump to simply declare victory on 2020 election night

During the second public hearing of the House select committee’s investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection, testimony revealed that an “intoxicated” Rudy Giuliani, then-President Donald Trump’s primary attorney, told Trump to simply declare victory at a point that was too early to make such a declaration.

Video transcript

- You said that you had heard that Mr. Giuliani wanted to talk to the president. And then he was directed your way. Did you end up talking to Mr. Giuliani when he was directed your--

BILL STEPIEN: I did. I did.

- What was that conversation?

BILL STEPIEN: A lot of conversations were directed my way.

[CHUCKLES]

A few of us-- myself, Jason Miller, Justin Clark, and Mark Meadows-- gathered in a room off the map room to listen to whatever Rudy presumably wanted to say to the President.

- Was there anyone in that conversation who, in your observation, had had too much to drink?

JASON MILLER: Um, Mayor Giuliani.

- Tell me more about that. What was your observation about his potential intoxication during that discussion about what the President should say when he addressed the nation on election night?

JASON MILLER: The mayor was definitely intoxicated, but I do not, um, know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the President, for example.

- Were you part of any discussions with the people I mentioned-- Mr. Stepien, Mr. Meadows, or anyone else-- about whether the President should make any sort of speech on election night?

RUDY GIULIANI: I mean, I spoke to the President. They may have been present, but I spoke to the President several times that night.

JASON MILLER: There were suggestions by I believe it was Mayor Giuliani to go and declare victory and say that we'd won it outright.

BILL STEPIEN: It was far too early to be making any calls like that. Ballots-- ballots were still being counted. Ballots were still going to be counted for days. And it was far too early to be making any proclamation like that.

JASON MILLER: I remember saying that-- I, to the best of my memory I was saying that we should not go and declare victory until we had a better sense of the numbers.

- OK, can you be more specific about that conversation in particular-- what Mayor Giuliani said, your response, and then anybody else in the room response?

JASON MILLER: I think effectively Mayor Giuliani was saying, we won it. They're stealing it from us. We're at all the votes come from? We need to go say that we won.

And essentially that anyone who didn't agree with that position was being weak.

- What was your view at the time as to what he should or shouldn't say?

IVANKA TRUMP: I don't know that I had a firm view as to what he should say in that circumstance. The results were still being counted. It was becoming clear that the race would not be called on election night.

BILL STEPIEN: My belief, my recommendation was to say that votes were still being counted. It's too early to tell. Too early to call the race. But we are proud of the race we ran. And we think we're in good position. And we'll have more to say about this the next day, or the next day. Whenever we had something to say.

- And did anybody who was a part of that conversation disagree with your message?

BILL STEPIEN: Yes.

- Who is that?

BILL STEPIEN: The President disagreed with that. I don't recall the particular words. He thought I was wrong. He told me so. And you know, that they were going to go in-- he was going to go in a different direction.

DONALD TRUMP: This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.

[CHEERING]

BENNIE THOMPSON: Mr. Stirewalt, did President Trump have any basis to declare victory on November 4, 2020?

CHRIS STIREWALT: No.

BENNIE THOMPSON: Thank you.

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