Kinzinger Statement at Select Committee Business Meeting
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) delivered the following statement at a business meeting during which the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol adopted a report recommending that the House of Representatives cite Daniel Scavino, Jr. and Peter Navarro for criminal contempt of Congress.
Washington, DC – This week, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) delivered the following statement at a business meeting during which the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol adopted a report recommending that the House of Representatives cite Daniel Scavino, Jr. and Peter Navarro for criminal contempt of Congress.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
“Dan Scavino met Donald Trump when he was 16 years old. He became a longtime Trump employee and remains a true Trump loyalist. In the Trump Administration, Scavino served as Director of Social Media and, for its final two years, as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications.
“And, as the Select Committee’s report notes, Dan Scavino was with then-President Trump on January 5th and 6th. He spoke with President Trump by phone several times on January 6th and was with the President when many urged him to help stop the violence at the Capitol. He was always – at all relevant times – a Trump and White House insider.
“Social media – as a means of monitoring and shaping trends – was Dan Scavino’s core business. Reports tell us that Dan Scavino and his team monitored extremist social media sites, monitored trends on social media, and used extremist social media sites to shape public perceptions.
“There is, in short, a great deal of highly important information that Dan Scavino has that the Select Committee needs to know.
“I want to focus on one aspect of that: what Dan Scavino could tell us about what then-President Trump thought was likely to happen on January 6th –
“Did the President know that the rally could turn violent, that his rhetoric on the ellipse could send an angry mob to storm the Capitol? When Trump noted on the evening of January 5th that he had a “fired up” crowd – did he know they might take it literally when, the next morning, he told them to “fight hard”?
“Dan Scavino was there and could tell us a lot about all that. We need to hear from him. In refusing to talk to us, he is stiff-arming the American people and hiding the truth. It’s unlawful and there is no excuse.
“Then-President Trump asserted that he generally did his own tweets – but he acknowledged that “on occasion” Scavino helped shape them. We know that he often composed social media posts and discussed their language with Trump.
“With that in mind, let’s take a closer look.
“On December 19, 2020, Trump re-tweeted a video that ended by urging viewers to “FIGHT FOR TRUMP!” Here it is. [SCREENGRAB] January 6 was then just two and a half weeks off. Dan Scavino could tell us something useful about why Donald Trump re-tweeted that particular message.
“President Trump also re-tweeted a video titled “How to Steal an Election.” Among other things, it argued that COVID-19 was created to ensure that Trump would lose the 2020 election. [SCREENGRAB] QAnon had already re-tweeted that one by the time Trump did. We’d like to hear what President Trump’s Director of Social Media has to say about that.
“And what did Trump’s extremist followers on “The Donald” and other hard-right social media sites make of all that – of President Trump urging them to join in a “wild” protest on January 6th?
“Some of his followers on “The Donald” fringe site took it as “marching orders.” [SCREENGRAB] Dan Scavino had every reason to know they would. Dan Scavino was well aware of what his boss wanted and of the extremist, violent users that sites like “The Donald” attracted. Dan Scavino himself sent out a video that a user on the same site understood to be “literal war drums.” [SCREENGRAB]
“President Trump had, by then, been president for a full four years, with Dan Scavino at his side. He – they – knew that the January 6th crowd could turn violent. They knew exactly what they were doing. And the Select Committee needs to hear directly from Dan Scavino about his – and President Trump’s – role in inciting the violence that day.”