One by one, several of Donald Trump’s top advisers to a special House committee investigating his role in the January 6 uprising said they did not believe his lies about the 2020 election, and that the former president knew he was against Joe Biden. .
But instead of convincing Trump’s most staunch supporters, the testimony of former Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump’s daughter Ivanka about the election and the attack on the US capital urges many of them to simply confirm their opinion that the former president was correct in his false claim of victory.
Barr’s testimony that Trump was repeatedly told there was no election fraud? He was paid off by a voting machine company, according to one false allegation that went viral this week. Ivanka Trump says she does not believe Trump either? It’s all part of Trump’s grand plan to confuse his enemies and save America.
The allegations again demonstrate how deeply rooted Trump’s false narrative about the election has become.
“It’s cognitive dissonance,” said Jennifer Stromer-Galley, a professor at the University of Syracuse who studied how Trump used social media and advertising to mobilize his base. “If you believe what Trump is saying, and now Bill Barr and Trump’s own daughter are saying these other things, it’s creating a crack, and people need to fill it.”
The lawmakers who led the hearings on the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol said one of their goals is to show how Trump has repeatedly lied to his supporters in an effort to retain power and undermine U.S. democracy.
“President Trump has invested millions of dollars in campaign funds to deliberately spread false information, run ads that he knew were false, and to convince millions of Americans that the election was corrupt and that he was the true president,” he said. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo, said. , the panel’s vice-chair. “As you will see, this misinformation campaign provoked violence on January 6.”
For those who accept Trump’s unfounded claims, Barr’s testimony was particularly shocking. In his interview with investigators, he outlined Trump’s very absurd allegations about the 2020 election, calling them “false” and “idiotic.”
Barr told the committee when he spoke to Trump, “there was never any indication of interest in what the real facts were.”
“He became detached from reality if he really believed these things,” Barr said.
Following his testimony, many Trump supporters who use sites such as Reddit, GETTR and Telegram exploded Barr like a mantle, noting that he had previously disputed Trump’s election claims.
But many others have begun to resort to alternative explanations for this testimony.
“I still hope Barr plays a role,” said one poster on a Telegram channel popular with Trump supporters.
One post that spread widely this week suggested that Barr was paid by Dominion Voting Systems, a company targeted by Trump and his supporters with unfounded claims of voting errors. “From 2009 to 2018, DOMINION BARR paid $ 1.2 million in cash and granted him another $ 1.1 million in share grants,” according to SEC entries. (No wonder Barr can find no voter fraud!), ”Reads the report.
Wrong Dominion. Barr was paid for by Dominion Energy, a listed company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia that supplies power and heat to customers in several Mid-Atlantic states.
Unlike Barr, Ivanka Trump has remained very popular among many Trump supporters and is seen by many as her father’s potential successor. That may be why so many had to find an alternative explanation for why she told Congress she did not accept her father’s demands.
Jordan Sather, a leading proponent of the QAnon theory, claims both Barr and Ivanka Trump lied during their testimony at Trump’s command, part of a comprehensive scheme to defeat Trump’s enemies by confusing Congress and the American public. .
“I can only imagine Donald Trump saying to Ivanka: ‘Hey, go to this trial, say these things. Screw with their heads, ”Sather said on his online program last week.
Some Trump supporters have rejected Ivanka Trump’s testimony altogether by questioning whether any of it is true. This is another common refrain seen on far-right message boards. Many posters say they do not even believe the trials are taking place, but are a Hollywood production with vouchers for the former president’s daughter and others.
“She looks different in a big way,” one poster on Telegram asked. “CGI?”