Business Insider reported last month that multiple European security officials said President Donald Trump appeared to have tacit support within federal agencies charged with securing the U.S. Capitol as his supporters stormed the building on Jan. 6, and that they believed he had deliberately attempted a coup.
Insider spoke with three officials on [Jan. 7]: a French police official responsible for public security in a key section of central Paris, and two intelligence officials from NATO countries who directly work in counterterrorism and counterintelligence operations involving the US, terrorism, and Russia.
They said the circumstantial evidence available pointed to what would be openly called a coup attempt in any other nation. None were willing to speak on the record because of the dire nature of the subject.
While they did not furnish evidence that federal agency officials facilitated the chaos, Insider is reporting this information because it illustrates the scale and seriousness of Wednesday’s events: America’s international military and security allies are now willing to give serious credence to the idea that Trump deliberately tried to violently overturn an election and that some federal law-enforcement agents — by omission or otherwise — facilitated the attempt.
One NATO official told Insider:
“The defeated president gives a speech to a group of supporters where he tells them he was robbed of the election, denounces his own administration’s members and party as traitors, and tells his supporters to storm the building where the voting is being held,” the NATO intelligence official said.
“The supporters, many dressed in military attire and waving revolutionary-style flags, then storm the building where the federal law-enforcement agencies controlled by the current president do not establish a security cordon, and the protesters quickly overwhelm the last line of police.
“The president then makes a public statement to the supporters attacking the Capitol that he loves them but doesn’t really tell them to stop,” the official said. “Today I am briefing my government that we believe with a reasonable level of certainty that Donald Trump attempted a coup that failed when the system did not buckle.
“I can’t believe this happened,” the official added.
Image credit: Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks / Public Domain