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What We Know About Trump’s Missing Call Log from January 6th, 2021

There are no phone calls recorded on the official presidential call log from 11:06 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. on January 6th. But witness testimony affirms that President Trump did make phone calls during those seven hours.

Who Did Trump Call?

Trump called former Vice President Mike Pence in the morning.He also called House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, his election lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and Senators like Tommy Tuberville of Arizona.  

 

Testimony from Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany states that Trump requested a full list of Senators to call while the January 6th riot was taking place, presumably to pressure them not to certify the electoral votes. But it is impossible to know which ones he called since the phone log is empty. 

 

During this same time, the Pentagon called President Trump to coordinate a response to the attack at the Capitol. But Trump refused to take the call. 

 

According to testimony from a White House employee, it was left to Eric Hershman and Pat Cipillone, both White House lawyers, to decide what to do with the call. Herschmann allegedly turned to Cipollone and said “the president didn’t want anything done.” Cipollone ended up taking the call from the Pentagon himself.

 
What Happened to the Call Log?

Various theories exist for why Trump’s phone calls are unaccounted for.

 

One theory is that Trump used a burner phone. That is, he placed calls to Senators from a non-official White House phone.

 

The second theory is that Trump inappropriately kept his phone calls off of the official record. He could have done this by having his staff place calls for him without going through the switchboard.

Donald Trump makes a phone call

The third theory is that Trump secretly deleted the portion of the official call log that he didn’t want to be public.

 
Gaps in the Record Draw Suspicion–Even from Trump 

The gap in Trump’s call log has outraged many who are reminded of the Hillary Clinton’s deleted email scandal, which Trump himself condemned in a 2018 tweet:

 

"Big story out that the FBI ignored tens of thousands of Crooked Hillary Emails, many of which are REALLY BAD," he tweeted at the time. "Also gave false election info. I feel sure that we will soon be getting to the bottom of all of this corruption. At some point I may have to get involved!"

 

For others, the gap in the phone log is a reminder of Nixon’s 18.5 minute gap in the Watergate tapes, which his secretary weakly explained away by saying she was using a dictaphone with a pedal and that she accidentally deleted the crucial minutes of conversation by lifting her foot by mistake.

 

Both of these gaps in the historical record drew heavy scrutiny from both sides of the aisle and limited the American people’s ability to get the truth about what happened at the highest level of our government.