NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump has canceled a press conference he had planned to hold in Florida on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters.
Trump said in a statement Tuesday evening that he would instead be discussing his grievances at a rally he has planned in Arizona later this month.
Trump had been expected to use the press conference to rail against the congressional committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, when a mob of his supporters violently stormed the Capitol in an effort to halt the peaceful transfer of power, and to repeat his lies about the 2020 election.
Trump continues to falsely insist the election was “stolen” and that the “real” insurrection was on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020, the day Democrat Joe Biden won the votes that led to his 306-232 Electoral College victory. Federal and state election officials, Trump’s own attorney general and numerous judges — including some he appointed — have all said repeatedly that the election was fair and that there is no credible evidence of serious fraud.
“In light of the total bias and dishonesty of the January 6th Unselect Committee of Democrats, two failed Republicans, and the Fake News Media, I am canceling the January 6th Press Conference at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, and instead will discuss many of those important topics at my rally on Saturday, January 15th, in Arizona,” Trump wrote.
Trump, whom one ally said had soured on the event because he felt it would not be covered fairly, had faced pressure to cancel from some who thought it was ill-advised, especially in an election year. Republicans are hoping to win back control of the House and Senate in this fall's midterm elections and some in the party fear the former president's ongoing obsession with the 2020 election and efforts to defend the rioters could turn off voters the party needs to win.
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump friend and ally, told the news outlet Axios that he had urged Trump to cancel, telling him over a round of golf in West Palm Beach this weekend that “there could be peril in doing a news conference. ... Best to focus on election reform instead.”
The event would have been Trump's second press conference since leaving office. While he has been banned from Twitter and other social media outlets, he has appeared regularly on conservative news outlets and held numerous rallies and other events.