White House records show an unexplained gap of more than seven hours in the record of former President Donald Trump’s telephone calls the day of the deadly January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, the Washington Post and CBS report.
Logs turned over to the House of Representatives panel investigating the attack showed no calls placed to or by Trump between 11.17am and 6.54pm while his supporters violently rioted at the Capitol as lawmakers were set to certify Mr Trump’s 2020 election loss, the news outlets say.
The 11 pages of records turned over to lawmakers showed Mr Trump talked to at least eight people by phone before the gap and 11 afterward, the Post and CBS said on Tuesday.
The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot declined comment. A Trump spokesperson said Mr Trump had nothing to do with the records and assumed all his phone calls were recorded and preserved.
Extensive public reporting also cites multiple conversations held by Trump on January 6 with allies and lawmakers.
That prompted investigators to probe whether he communicated that day through unofficial back channels or a disposable phone known as a “burner phone”, the report said, citing two people familiar with the congressional investigation.
In a statement, Mr Trump said: “I have no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of my knowledge I have never even heard the term.”
At least seven deaths have been connected to the assault on the seat of the US government by thousands of Trump supporters, interrupting certification of the result of the November 2020 presidential election.
They marched on the Capitol after the ex-president’s fiery speech at a rally repeating his unfounded claim that his loss to Democratic President Joe Biden was the result of fraud.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy last year described talking to his fellow Republican during the rioting, saying he urged the president to call off his supporters and accept his defeat.
The House panel on Monday voted to seek “contempt of Congress” charges against Peter Navarro, a former trade adviser to Trump, and Daniel Scavino, who was a Trump deputy chief of staff.