When former president Donald Trump sat down for an interview in late March at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., he described the events of Jan. 6 as largely peaceful and his supporters as friendly, saying the audience he addressed at a rally on the Ellipse before the attack on the U.S. Capitol was a “loving crowd.”

Five people later died after thousands of his supporters beat back police to storm through barricades and charge inside the Capitol, and hundreds of lawmakers and their staffers were forced to scramble for safety. But Trump, speaking in an exclusive interview for the new book “I Alone Can Fix It,” said the mob was “ushered in” by police.

“Personally what I wanted is what they wanted,” he said of the crowd. “They showed up just to show support because I happen to believe the election was rigged at a level like nothing has ever been rigged before.”

He also detailed his disappointment in and anger with then-Vice President Mike Pence and would not commit to selecting Pence as his running mate if he runs again in 2024. “I’m not locked into anything,” he said.

Listen to the audio clips above and below.

Former president Donald Trump on March 31 said he was “disappointed” in former vice president Mike Pence when asked about his potential 2024 running mate. (The Washington Post)