According to Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender’s new book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost,” former President Donald Trump called for the execution of whoever leaked information about his stay in the White House bunker during protests last June. At the time, Trump claimed that the individual had committed treason against his administration and was apparently “obsessed” with finding the source.
“Trump boiled over about the bunker story as soon as they arrived and shouted at them to smoke out whoever had leaked it. It was the most upset some aides had ever seen the president,” Bender writes. “‘Whoever did that, they should be charged with treason!’ Trump yelled. ‘They should be executed!'”
Bender goes on to note that then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows “repeatedly tried to calm the president as startled aides avoided eye contact,” going so far as to tell Trump: “I’m on it. We’re going to find out who did it.”
Additionally, White House staff “who said they’d heard the president issue that warning had interpreted the outburst as a sign of a president in panic.”
In June 2020, news outlets reported that Trump spent a brief period in the White House’s underground bunker as protests erupted in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who would later be convicted for the killing.
“The President was there for a little under an hour before being brought upstairs,” CNN reported at the time.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.