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- The January 6 committee released a new trove of transcripts on Thursday.
- Among them was an interview with former White House communications aide Sarah Matthews.
- Matthews shed light on her process for figuring out which tweets Trump sent out himself.
A former White House communications official who resigned from her post after the January 6 insurrection said that she had a method for deciphering which tweets were personally drafted by former President Donald Trump, and which were written by top advisors.
Sarah Matthews, a White House aide who worked for Trump from 2017 to 2021, testified to the January 6 committee that she occasionally worked with former chief of staff Dan Scavino to help draft tweets for Trump, according to the transcript released on Thursday along with a trove of other testimonies from officials close to Trump around the time of the riot.
Ultimately, in the February 8, 2022 interview, she told the committee that it was “painfully obvious” when Trump decided to tweet on his own.
Matthews said that she was rarely involved in the process of drafting his tweets, reporting to then-press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. But “sometimes you could tell when a tweet was written by him,” Matthews said, per the transcript.
“The phrasing of it, the capitalization of letters,” she continued, adding that Scavino’s drafted tweets were “more grammatically correct.”
Matthews became Trump’s deputy press secretary in the last months of his frayed presidency, resigning in protest on January 6, claiming that she was “deeply disturbed” by the events of the day. She later testified in front of the January 6 committee on July 21, 2022, echoing sentiments in the newly-released testimony.
“In times of crises, you want your leader to meet the moment, and to me, it felt like he didn’t meet the moment,” Matthews said in the testimony released on Thursday. “I kept thinking, okay, well, maybe he’ll get this tweet right.”
Matthews was referring to a tweet from January 6, when Trump asked for “everyone at the US Capitol to remain peaceful.” Matthews said in her testimony that as images emerged of rioters inside the Capitol building, she and other staffers in the White House communications office felt Trump should issue more of a condemnation of the violence.
In the February witness testimony shared by the committee on Thursday, Matthews said that she resigned because the attack felt personal, which she testified about in July. Matthews tweeted on the anniversary of the attack this year, calling what happened a “coup attempt.”
“One year ago, we as a country experienced one of the darkest days in American history,” Matthews tweeted in January. “Make no mistake, the events on the 6th were a coup attempt, a term we’d use had they happened in any other country, and former President Trump failed to meet the moment.”