Trump screwed up his ‘coup’ by not marching to the Capitol on Jan. 6, says autocrats expert

According to an expert on fascist leaders and movements, Donald Trump may have stayed in power despite losing the presidential election if he marched with his supporters to breach the US Capitol during last year’s uprising.

The Secret Service has reportedly been investigating ways to protect Trump when he told agents he wanted to accompany his followers to the building after urging them to march to the Capitol, the Jan. 6 panel found in its investigation. “We’re going to walk to the Capitol,” he told a crowd of supporters.

But in the end Trump was told it wasn’t possible on a whim, The Washington Post reported.

“If you’re having a coup and you’ve called everyone up, and you expect to be anointed as the head of a new illegitimate government, you have to be there,” New York University history professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat told Jim Acosta on Saturday. from CNN.

“There is a phase in coups,” explains Ben-Ghiat, author of the book “Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present.” They are ‘violent, fast, and then you have your verdict on the new order. That’s why he has [Trump] tried to get there.”

Ben-Ghiat said he was pleased that Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) used the word “coup” during Thursday’s January 6 House committee hearing when describing the events leading up to and including the storming. of the Capitol.

“It is the correct word for something that is the result of a process that began – in a sense it started before November 2020 because Trump had been trying to discredit the election for several years and molded his personality cult so that the faithful would gather when he convened. ,” she said.

Ben-Ghiat noted that coups “take months or years to plan, and this was a multiple attempt to overthrow our democracy.”

Ultimately, she said, Trump “went nuclear and did what autocrats have done in the past, and used violence, and called on these people to right this ‘monstrous’ wrong on his behalf.”

Acosta said in his introduction, “The call to arms came from within the White House.”

Watch Ben-Ghiat’s full interview in the clip above. Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) talks about Trump’s disinformation campaign that led to the 7:25 a.m. violence, followed by Ben-Ghiat’s observations.