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Filmmaker Alex Holder Says Trump Was ‘Utterly Irrational’ After January 6

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A large swath of America learned who Alex Holder was last week, after it was reported that footage the British filmmaker shot for a documentary about the Trump family had been subpoenaed by the House committee investigating January 6. His film Unprecedented documents the months before and after the 2020 election, including the attack on the Capitol, with particular focus on the dynamic between Donald Trump and his adult children. Holder was granted unusual access to the family, and clips from the film — particularly one in which Ivanka Trump appears to contradict her recent testimony — have circulated widely online ahead of its release on Discovery this summer. Holder has also testified behind closed doors. I spoke with him about Trump’s responsibility for the insurrection, Cassidy Hutchinson’s bombshell testimony, and why it took so long for his footage to emerge.

How did you meet the Trump family, and why did they seem to trust you implicitly, given that an unfiltered documentary seems like something of a high-risk proposition?

I was introduced by somebody who had worked for them privately and then at a certain point in the White House. [Ed.’s note: The person has been identified by the New York Times as Jason D. Greenblatt, a former Trump-administration lawyer and envoy to the Middle East.] They’d been complaining for a very long time that they weren’t given a fair shot by the media, the media were biased, et cetera. So my approach was to say “I’m here to listen to you.” And this obviously coincided with the election campaign, so that was obviously going to be a major part of the project. They absolutely believed they were going to win — it was going to be a repeat of 2016, the polls were all wrong.

I wasn’t part of the media fabric in the U.S. I was an unknown quantity, in a sense. So I think an aspect of their thinking was definitely “Here’s a guy who’s going to film us win.” And I joke that maybe my British charm helped. But there was no secrecy here. They’re big boys and girls. They came, they sat down and answered the questions they wanted to answer, and if they didn’t want to, that was their prerogative. Last week, people in the Trump camp were saying that they didn’t know about us. At one stage, Michael, the director of photography, was onstage filming Ivanka. And CNN called one of the staffers on the campaign and said, “Who is this dude interfering with the live shot? Can you get him off?”


© Daily Intelligencer

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