A video apparently taken by Donald Trump Jr. shows his family and friends laughing and joking in the backstage area before President Donald Trump spoke at a rally Wednesday — not long before a mob of the president’s supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol in a riot that left five people dead.
The video obtained by CNBC features Donald Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle saying she hopes Vice President Mike Pence has “the courage or the brains to do the right thing” and block the confirmation of Joe Biden as president by Congress.
It also shows Eric Trump, Donald Jr.’s brother, being congratulated for his birthday that same day.
The video does not currently appear on Donald Jr.’s Instagram page. CNBC has requested comment on the video from the Trump Organization, which Donald Jr. runs with Eric Trump, and from the White House.
“Guys, getting ready to go out there,” Donald Jr. says on the video, which appears to have been streamed online from his phone in a tented area during the rally, outside of the White House.
“I can’t believe the crowds I’ve seen out there. Literally a hundred thousand people, it’s all the way going to the Washington Monument.”
“Just awesome patriots who are sick of the bulls—,” Donald Jr. says as the Laura Branigan song “Gloria” can be heard blaring from outside.
“So thank you all for that. It’s actually hard to believe.”
Donald Trump at TV viewing party
In the background, President Trump is seen on the video waiting to go out onstage.
Later, during a speech of more than an hour, the president made false claims about alleged ballot fraud swindling him out of an electoral victory over Biden.
Trump also had urged the crowd to help him “fight” Biden’s confirmation as the winner, and to march to Congress after the rally.
When the crowd did so, thousands of people swarmed around the Capitol complex, and shoved past Capitol police to swarm through the halls of Congress, occupying the Senate chamber and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, among others lawmakers’ offices.
One of the invaders, a woman, was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer.
Another Capitol police officer died Thursday after being hit by a rioter with a fire extinguisher.
Three other people died during the melee, which has led to calls for Trump to be removed from office, less than two weeks before his term ends. A number of Trump administration officials, among them Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, resigned because of the riot.
DeVos blamed Trump’s rhetoric for contributing to the violence.
Donald Jr. also spoke at the rally.
Donald Trump Jr. speaks during a rally of supporters of US President Donald Trump on The Ellipse outside of the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
“To those Republicans, many of which may be voting on things in the coming hours: You have an opportunity today,” he warned.
“You can be a hero, or you can be a zero. And the choice is yours. But we are all watching. The whole world is watching, folks. Choose wisely.”
Before he spoke, Donald Jr.’s video pans around the backstage area, where a woman who appeared to be White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany smiled as she took a photo of television monitors showing the crowd outside.
“Kimberly!” Don Jr. said at one point to Guilfoyle on the video, where she can be seen dancing and shimmying to the music.
“Have the courage to do the right thing! Fight!” Guilfoyle says to the camera.
Kimberly Guilfoyle dancing at Trump Rally TV viewing party
“I think we’re at T-minus a couple of seconds here, guys, so tune in and check it out,” Donald Jr. says.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows then appears behind him, broadly grinning and giving a thumbs-up to the camera.
“Mark Meadows, an actual fighter, one of the few, a real fighter,” Donald Jr. says, a nod to the fact that his father had lost support from many congressional Republicans, and his own vice president, Pence, in his legally doomed effort to block Biden from taking office.
Donald Trump Jr and Mark Meadows at Trump TV viewing party
“Thank you Mark!”
Donald Jr. then pans the camera to capture his sister Ivanka Trump, who is a senior White House advisor, who smiles and waves at him.
The camera then pans to their brother Eric.
Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump at Trump rally TV party
“Happy birthday, Eric!” Donald Jr. says.
“Hey guys, wish Eric a happy birthday. He’s an old, old broken down man,” Donald Jr. adds in a joking voice, as the brothers playfully tussled with each other.
When Eric points at his own hair, his brother says, “Albino,” leading Eric’s wife, Lara Trump, to chidingly say, “Stop.”
“See, his wife laughed at that, like she laughs at him every night,” Donald Jr. says on the video.
Guilfoyle then said, referring to Lara, “future senator,” a reference to Lara exploring whether to run for the Senate from her home state of North Carolina.
“Alright guys, we’re going to get the show on the road. Time to get back to work,” Donald Jr. says at the end of the video.