Former Trump campaign insiders told the House Jan. 6 Committee Monday that it was “far too early” for then-President Donald Trump to declare victory on election night in 2020 over Democratic rival Joe Biden.
In videotaped depositions revealed Monday, campaign spokesman Jason Miller said the president was urged to declare victory by attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, whom Mr. Miller said was intoxicated at the time.
“There were suggestions by, I believe it was Mayor Giuliani, to go and declare victory and say that we’d won outright,” Mr. Miller said.
Trump’s campaign manager, William Stepien. told the committee that he recommended that the president wait for more votes to be counted before declaring victory.
“It was far too early to be making any calls like that,” Mr. Stepien told the panel in a separate deposition introduced Monday. “Ballots were still being counted. Ballots were still going to be counted for days.”
Mr. Stepien said Mr. Trump disagreed with his recommendation to delay claiming victory.
“He thought I was wrong,” Mr. Stepien said. “He told me so, and that he was going to go in a different direction.”
Monday’s high-profile hearing is zeroing in on Mr. Trump’s claims that the election was stolen.
Former Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt testified over his decision to call Arizona for President Biden — a move that struck a nerve for the former president and his team.
Mr. Stepien was scheduled to appear in person, but was absent due to his wife going into labor during the hearing time.
Video clips of Mr. Stepien’s recorded testimony were shown instead.
The committee’s hearing is the first of several this week and next week, as the Democrat-led panel unveils its findings in its investigation into the 2021 Capitol riot.