Trump called crowd gathered for his speech before Capitol riot 'loving' in March audio recording

Washington CNN —Former President Donald Trump in March called the crowd that had gathered for his speech before the deadly US Capitol insurrection “loving” in an exclusive audio recording obtained by CNN.
“I think it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken before.
It went from that point – which is almost at the White house – to beyond the Washington monument.
It was – and wide.
And it was a loving crowd, too, by the way,” Trump said in the audio recording taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker during an interview for their new book, “I Alone Can Fix It.”“There was a lot of love.
Many, many people have told me that was a loving crowd,” the former President added.
Trump’s comments underscore the vast GOP effort to downplay the Capitol riot.
In May, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would’ve created an independent commission to investigate the deadly attack, and earlier Wednesday, House Republicans balked at participating in the House committee that’s looking into the insurrection.
In the March interview audio that aired Wednesday evening, Trump also claimed that he had wanted the crowd to “show” but not “go in” the Capitol.
“We love you,” Trump said in the video.
The book, which was released on Tuesday, chronicles Trump’s final year as president, with a behind-the-scenes look at how senior administration officials and Trump’s inner circle navigated his increasingly unhinged behavior after he lost the election.
The authors interviewed Trump for more than two hours.