Trump defends Jan. 6 remarks during exchange with WPTV anchor Michael Williams

'I said peacefully and patriotically,' Trump says
Former President Donald Trump answers question from Michael Williams outside Mar-a-Lago Club, Feb. 8, 2024
Posted at 6:37 PM, Feb 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-08 18:37:52-05

PALM BEACH, Fla. — The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to reject arguments Thursday that former President Donald Trump should be kicked off the 2024 ballot because of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Trump followed developments from Mar-a-Lago before departing for Nevada on caucus night there.

WPTV anchor Michael Williams had a question-and-answer exchange with the former president.

"The U.S. Supreme Court is said to be broadly skeptical in early reporting about the effort to try to kick you off the ballot," Williams said to Trump. "Having said that, though, speak to the argument — legal and otherwise — that your detractors have made leading up to today. And it's an argument that was given voice by Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, not long after Jan. 6. He said, 'There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.'"

Below, in part, was Trump's response to Williams' question:

"He (McConnell) doesn't say that anymore. So let me just tell you, I heard, and I watched and the one thing I'll say is they kept saying about what I said right after the insurrection," Trump said. "Because I think it was an insurrection caused by Nancy Pelosi. This was an insurrection, if it was an insurrection, (in) which there were no guns, there were no anything."

WATCH: Trump defends actions on Jan. 6:

Trump defends 'peacefully and patriotically' speech

Trump again defended his remarks to marchers who gathered Jan. 6 near the White House.

"I said peacefully and patriotically. The speech was called peacefully and patriotically — peacefully and patriotically. He said I said (a) bad statement," Trump said. "It was the exact opposite, so I think you should take a look at the statements that I made before and after and you'll see a whole different dialogue."

The former president also referenced his Rose Garden remarks on Jan. 6 in which he told supporters at one point to "go home in peace." His critics said those remarks came after hours of inaction, as violence engulfed the Capitol, and Capitol Hill police were attacked, in some cases brutally.