A British filmmaker who interviewed Donald Trump on the eve of the attack on the Capitol has opened up about the former president’s “unhinged” demeanour at the time.
Alex Holder documented the days leading up to January 6 and its fallout for Unprecedented, a movie about the last months of Mr Trump’s presidency. The film was released last summer, months before the Department of Justice subpoenaed Mr Holder for any raw footage related to the movie.
Appearing on CNN’s Newsroom with host Jim Acosta on Saturday, Mr Holder delved into Mr Trump’s state of mind during interviews recorded just before around 2,000 rioters stormed the Capitol with the intent to stop Joe Biden’s rightful transition to power.
“To be honest, [he was] unhinged, terrifying,” Mr Holder said. “He’s a very unusual man ... He has one singular ideology, which is Donald Trump, right? I mean, nothing else matters.”
Mr Holder also talked about the alleged fear that Mr Trump’s staff felt whenever he spoke his mind.
“He sort of look[ed] sideways saying some of the most controversial things he was saying and he looks at one of his assistants. But they were all terrified of him,” the British filmmaker said. “So it is a really strange dynamic. It wasn’t a respect toward the president. It was sheer fear. It was just a really unusual situation around him.”
Mr Holder continued: “Seeing him at Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster, he is a very dangerous person that needs constant adoration from all the people around him.”
Mr Holder recalled in a previous interview with CNN that Mr Trump told him there was “no way that guy [President Biden] got 80 million votes” and “everything would be easily resolved.”
The filmmaker went on to claim that Mr Trump allegedly told him that the reason he hadn’t won the 2020 election was that officials in Georgia “were not brave enough and [too] stupid to listen to him.”
Mr Trump and 18 of his allies were indicted last week in Georgia for allegedly running a criminal enterprise to try to thwart the 2020 presidential election.
He previously claimed he was going to unveil a report that would “exonerate” him in the criminal case, but later cancelled the press conference.
Mr Trump, who is leading the polls for the Republican primaries, is expected to surrender himself to the Fulton County jail on Thursday or Friday, CNN reports. This is the fourth criminal case in which the former president has been indicted.