In the days leading up to the deadly Capitol insurrection last year, Trump’s presidential diarist noticed that White House officials began providing fewer details on the then-President’s calls and visits, according to CNN. The report comes amid revelations that the White House call logs the National Archives turned over to the Jan. 6 Select Committee contained a seven-hour gap — despite previous reports of multiple calls that Trump took as the insurrection unfolded.
Trump’s presidential diarist revealed the scant details that the then-President’s White House officials produced days before the insurrection when reportedly testifying before the Jan. 6 Select Committee last month.
According to CNN, other witnesses described a similar scenario to the committee. They reportedly told the panel that Trump White House record-keepers were sharing less information during the same time period.
One source characterized White House record-keepers in the days before the insurrection as having been “iced out” in the days preceding the insurrection, according to CNN.
“The last day that normal information was sent was the 4th,” another source familiar with the investigation told CNN. “So, starting the 5th, the diarist didn’t receive the annotated calls and notes. This was a dramatic departure. That is all out of the ordinary.”
It is typical for the presidential diarist to receive a trove of information about the President, which includes phone logs from the switchboard, the President’s movements from the Secret Services as well as notes from Oval Office operations that detail calls, guests and activities of the President.
It is unclear who, or if anyone, instructed a shift in record-keeping and if there was a motivation behind the slower pace of information shared with White House record-keepers in the days leading up to the insurrection.
CNN’s report comes days after the Washington Post and CBS News revealed the seven-hour gap in the White House call log and the presidential diary on the day of the insurrection.
The White House records of Trump’s calls on Jan. 6 reportedly did not include any calls he made or received from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. that day. The call logs were turned over to the Jan. 6 Select Committee by the National Archives.
“The lack of an official White House notation of any calls placed to or by Trump for 457 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021 … means the committee has no record of his phone conversations as his supporters descended on the Capitol, battled overwhelmed police and forcibly entered the building, prompting lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to flee for safety,” the Post reported.
The committee is reportedly now investigating whether Trump communicated that day “through backchannels, phones of aides or personal disposable phones, known as ‘burner phones,'” according to the Post.
Shortly after the report was published last week, Trump shot back in a statement, claiming that he has “no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of my knowledge I have never even heard the term.”
Despite Trump’s denials, previous reports indicated that Trump engaged in multiple calls with his key allies as the insurrection unfolded. Additionally, as the Post noted, documents obtained by the Jan. 6 Select Committee show Trump “having several previously unreported exchanges on Jan. 6, including brief calls with [Steve] Bannon and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani that morning, before Trump had a final call with Pence, in which the vice president told him he was not going to block Congress from formalizing Biden’s victory.”