A documentary filmmaker who had access to Donald Trump before, during and after the riot at the U.S. Capitol last year said he was “very scared” of the former president when he interviewed him.
British filmmaker Alex Holder interviewed Trump three times for his “Unprecedented” documentary. The first time was on Dec. 7, 2020, at the White House. At that juncture, Trump had clearly lost the presidential election and failed in multiple swing states to legally challenge the results.
On Dec. 1, then-Attorney General Bill Barr told The Associated Press that the Justice Department had not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
According to testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide working in the Trump White House at the time, Trump was so enraged by Barr’s interview that he threw his plate of food at the wall, smearing it with ketchup.
When asked about Trump’s temper on “The Bulwark Podcast,” Holder said, “I never saw any ketchup on any walls or table cloths being pulled,” but he could believe it happened.
“In the White House, when he came in, he was furious,” Holder said about their first interview. “And for lack of a better word, powerful. He was furious. And I was very scared.”
“I mean, that was definitely the feeling I got after that interview,” Holder added. “I was like, the shit is gonna hit the fan. This is going to be a bad next few weeks. I mean, there was no question he was gonna go full on.”
Weeks later, a mob of Trump’s supporters, spurred on by the then-president, laid siege to the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the election results.
In his second interview with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in March 2021, Holder said the former president was struggling after he was banned from Twitter for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“He looked terrible, he’d put on a lot of weight. He was incredibly depressed,” Holder said. “And a little behind the scenes secret: The reason for all of that was because he was going through a real withdrawal from not being able to use Twitter. Yeah, I promise. I mean, that’s literally what his closest aide said to me. He was in the most terrible foul mood because he couldn’t use social media.”
Holder was granted extraordinary access to Trump and his three eldest children: Ivanka, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. As a result, he became a key witness for the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack and testified at a hearing in July.
“Unprecedented” is now streaming on Discovery+