Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 weren’t dereliction of duty — but much worse: presidential historian
Donald Trump (Photo of Trump via Agence France-Presse)

Former President Donald Trump's actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection were far worse than dereliction of duty, according to a presidential historian.

Michael Bechloss told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" the former president's refusal to call off the mob of his supporters threatening the lives of the vice president and members of Congress was something far more sinister than dereliction, based on testimony from former White House officials and other witnesses who testified before the House Select Committee.

"My biggest takeaway is people are talking about dereliction of duty, and I almost don't like that," Bechloss said. "That implies that this was a spontaneous uprising at the Capitol, and Donald Trump was sort of reacting to what was happening. I think hearing by hearing, everything we're finding out suggests that he was at the center of a blueprint for a coup."

The plot involved some Republican members of Congress, the wife of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, members of his administration, rogue elements in the U.S. Secret Service and right-wing extremists, and Bechloss said that Trump was aware the coup could result in the murders of Mike Pence and others in the Capitol -- and he still refused to act.

READ MORE: 'Disloyal sleaze bag!': Trump flips out on McConnell in late-night rant after Jan 6th hearing

"Ginni Thomas was calling back and forth to Donald Trump's chief of staff, he was calling members of Congress," Bechloss said. "We certainly know the Secret Service was involved. There was a possibility, as you've been both saying this morning, that this involved intended assassinations. Never thought I'd say this about an American president, intended assassinations of the vice president of the United States. We certainly have that quote from Trump saying Mike Pence deserves to be hanged. Also, do we think he would have been unhappy if someone, God forbid, had gone after Nancy Pelosi or other congressional leaders?"

"You look at authoritarians in history who try to overthrow governments, there's usually an assassination," he added. "That, I think, is one question that we've got to ask about the Secret Service."

Watch the video below or at this link.

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