Now that the Jan. 6 committee is seeking information from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on the scheme to subvert the 2020 election, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of the many occasions when the Trump ally seemed to short-circuit when pressed on the insurrection-day conversation(s) with former President Trump that he may or may not have had.
Jordan’s string of noncommittal responses all began back in May, when he first appeared to admit in comments to reporters that he spoke to the President on that fateful day.
“I think this commission is ridiculous, and why would they subpoena me? I didn’t do anything wrong — I talked to the president,” Jordan was quoted saying in a Washington Post story about a possible January 6 Commission.
He continued: “I talk to the president all the time. I just think that’s — you know where I’m at on this commission — this is all about going after President Trump. That seems obvious.”
Jordan had apparently stepped in it, raising a question no one had yet thought to ask.
“It’s unclear if Jordan meant he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6 and his office did not respond to a request to clarify his remarks,” Washington Post reporters Felicia Sonmez, Josh Dawsey and Jacqueline Alemany wrote following the quote.
The question came up again in July, when Jordan was asked during a Fox News interview whether he spoke to Trump on Jan. 6.
Jordan meandered. “I mean — I’ve talked to the President so many — I can’t remember all the days I’ve talked to him, but I’ve certainly talked to the President,” he said.
SPECTRUM’S TAYLOR POPIELARZ: Yes or no, did you speak with President Trump on January 6th?
JORDAN: Yeah I mean I speak … I spoke with the President last week. I speak with the President all the time. I spoke with him on January 6th. I mean I talk with President Trump all the time. And that’s, that’s … I don’t think that’s unusual. I would expect members of Congress to talk with the President of the United States when they’re trying to get done the things they told the voters in their district to do. I’m actually kind of amazed sometimes that people keep asking this question. Of course … I talk to the President all the time. I talked … like I said, I talked with him last week.
POPIELARZ: On January 6th did you speak with him before, during or after the Capitol was attacked?
JORDAN: Ahhh I’d have to go … I’d I I … I spoke with him that day after? … I think after? … I don’t know if I spoke with him in the morning or not. I just don’t know. I’d have to go back and …. I mean I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know … ahhh … that … when those conversations happened. But what I know is that I spoke with him all the time.
Unfortunately for Jordan, the question just wouldn’t die. A month later, Jordan issued yet another murky response to Politico when pressed on whether he had a phone call with Trump as the deadly Capitol insurrection unfolded. Politico reported that after a group of lawmakers evacuated the House chamber and took shelter in a safe room on Jan. 6, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) joined Jordan on a call with Trump to urge the then-President to tell his supporters to stand down.
“Look, I definitely spoke to the President that day. I don’t recall — I know it was more than once, I just don’t recall the times,” Jordan reportedly told Politico. Jordan also said that he’d “have to think about it” when asked to confirm that he had shared a call with Gaetz.
A similar episode played out yet again in October, when Jordan got defensive and offered a revisionist take on what he had told Politico months before. During a House Rules Committee hearing, Jordan attempted to distance himself from his previous claim to Politico about speaking to Trump during the insurrection.
“I talked to the President after the attack,” Jordan said during the hearing in October, with exasperation: “I’ve been clear about that.”
Jordan then pushed back on Politico’s report on him speaking to Trump during the insurrection.
“During?” Jordan said. “No, I did not speak to the President during the attack.”
Despite the clear record of public interest in this question, Jordan acted like he was being ambushed as recently as last month when he was asked to detail his conversations with Trump on Jan. 6.
Pressed on whether he had checked exactly how many times he spoke with Trump that day and when those conversations occurred during an interview with Spectrum News’ Popielarz, Jordan simply replied: “Nope.”
Jordan wouldn’t commit to cooperating with the Jan. 6 select committee if the panel subpoenaed or requested anything from him.
“Depends what it is,” Jordan told Popielarz. “I mean, I’m not going to answer hypothetical questions, but I just think this is a complete sham, what these guys are doing.”
Jordan then brushed off potentially sharing phone records with the committee if asked, painting that request as a politically charged issue.
“Same response I gave you before,” Jordan said. “This is a total political committee.”
It now remains to be seen if Jordan — a top Trump ally who helped challenge Joe Biden’s electoral victory on Jan. 6 — could finally clarify lingering questions regarding his conversation on the day Trump supporters breached the Capitol building as a joint session of Congress attempted to certify Biden’s electoral victory.
However, the committee’s letter on Wednesday asking Jordan to provide more information has a choice quote from that October Rules Committee hearing.
“I have nothing to hide. I’ve been straightforward all along,” Jordan said during the hearing. The committee took note.