Trump aides didn't know someone was filming Trump on January 6 until the House committee got the footage: reports

·2 min read
President Trump in the Oval Office with Jared Kushner speaking behind him.
President Donald Trump listens as Jared Kushner speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on September 11, 2020.Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
  • Trump aides had no idea a filmmaker was recording Donald Trump on Jan. 6, reports say.

  • The footage was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee, and Politico said it was handed over.

  • It is not yet clear what new information the video may give on Trump's actions that day.

Aides to Donald Trump had no idea a documentary filmmaker had recorded the former president on Jan. 6, 2021, until the House committee investigating that day subpoenaed the footage, reports said.

The existence of the footage — shot by UK documentarian Alex Holder — was first reported by Politico on Tuesday.

The outlet said that Holder complied with the House committee request and handed over several months of footage of Trump, up to and including footage he took on Jan. 6.

The New York Times reported that many top Trump advisors were surprised by news of the project, which only a small circle of close Trump aides knew about.

According to the Times it had been organised by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and was meant to be a "legacy project" for Trump.

The Times gained access to some of the footage, which showed Ivanka Trump in an interview speaking in support of her father's attempt to undermine the election result.

That statement contradicted her claims elsewhere that she had instead rejected his election-fraud claims after learning they were not supported by evidence.

Trump's 2020 campaign aides told CBS reporter Robert Costa that they remembered a documentary crew coming to film at the campaign's HQ and that the project had surprised campaign lawyers.

Trump aides told Rolling Stone that they had "no idea" the film crew had had months of access to Trump and his family.

"What the fuck is this?" a former campaign official texted the outlet.

It is unclear what, if any, new insights could be contained in the footage.

The committee says that Trump was at the center of a sprawling attempt to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, culminating in the attack on the Capitol.

The case against Trump centers on the notion that he knew his election-fraud claims were false, but pushed them anyway, hoping to cling to power and use the grievance to raise vast sums of money.

One former Trump aide has testified to the committee that Trump told her privately that he knew he lost to Biden in the election.

In a statement Tuesday, Holder said that he had been motivated in making the film by a desire to understand the Trumps.

"As a British filmmaker, I had no agenda coming into this. We simply wanted to better understand who the Trumps were and what motivated them to hold onto power so desperately," he wrote.

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