After ducking the question multiple times, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) admitted Tuesday on Fox News that he spoke to then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, but he refused to disclose what they discussed.
Jordan, a staunch Trump ally, was rejected last week from joining the House select committee appointed to investigate the U.S. Capitol riot after his name was put forward by House Republican leadership.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she knocked back Jordan and one other of the five GOP picks, Jim Banks of Indiana, to protect the integrity of the investigation. The two men were among those who voted to overturn the presidential election based on Trump’s fiction about massive voter fraud and have both downplayed the reality of what happened on Jan. 6.
“This committee is obviously going to go down a number of different roads about who knew what when, who was talking to coordinators of the protests. Did you talk to the former president that day?” Fox News’ Bret Baier asked Jordan in an interview following the first day of the inquiry.
Jordan said he had spoken to Trump “umpteen times.”
“I mean on Jan. 6,” Baier pressed.
“I talk to the president. I never talk about what we talk about. I just don’t think that’s appropriate, just like I don’t talk about what happens in Republican conferences. So I talked to the president numerous times. I continue to talk to the president,” Jordan continued.
“No. I mean on Jan. 6, congressman?” Baier asked again.
“Yes,” Jordan responded. “I mean I’ve talked the president so many, I can’t remember all the days I have talked to him, but I have certainly talked to the president.”
Asked to share more about it, Jordan changed course to talk about the need for testimony at the hearings about “the security posture” on that day.
It’s not the first time Jordan has mentioned a conversation with Trump on the day of the riot. In May, he rejected the idea that he or other Republicans should be subpoenaed to testify about conversations with Trump, saying: “I didn’t do anything wrong — I talked to the president. I talk to the president all the time.”
When asked at the time by The Washington Post to clarify if he spoke with Trump on the day of the riot, though, his office did not respond.
Jordan and other Republican allies to the former president could be potential witnesses to how Trump and his advisers were behaving during the attack.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), one of two Republicans on the select committee, said during a “Good Morning America” appearance Tuesday that Jordan may be called to testify.
“He’s somebody who was involved in a number of meetings in the lead-up to what happened on 6 January, involved in planning for 6 January, certainly for the objections that day, as he said publicly, so he may well be a material witness,” she said.