Organizers of the Jan. 6 rally on the White House Ellipse allegedly used difficult-to-trace burner phones to communicate with Trump administration officials leading up to the events of that day.
According to three sources participating in the event, Kylie Kremer, a prominent official in the “March for Trump” group, asked an aide to pick up three burner phones days before the event. One of the “March for Trump” group members said Kremer insisted on paying cash for the phones, calling it “of the utmost importance.”
Sources told Rolling Stone that Kremer used one of the burner phones to communicate with top White House and Trump campaign officials, including Eric Trump, the president’s second-oldest son; Lara Trump, Eric’s wife, and a former senior Trump campaign consultant; Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff; and Katrina Pierson, a Trump surrogate and campaign consultant.
“That was when the planning for the event on the Ellipse was happening. She needed burner phones in order to communicate with high-level people, is how she put it,” One of the “March for Trump” members said, referencing Kremer.
The three sources say that the burner phones were used in some of the essential planning conversations between top rally organizers and Trump’s inner circle.
“They were planning all kinds of stuff, marches and rallies. Any conversation she had with the White House or Trump family took place on those phones,” the team member said.
Burner phones are difficult to track, making them perfect for anyone seeking anonymity, especially if they are purchased with cash. The use of burner phones might make finding proof of collaboration between Trump’s staff and rally organizers more difficult for congressional investigators.
The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 incident is looking into what role Trump and his associates played in “efforts to subvert the rule of law, overturn the results of the November 3, 2020 election, or otherwise impede the peaceful transfer of power.”
The committee has obtained documents from the Kremers, other “March For Trump” organizers, rally planners, and top Trump advisers, including members of his White House staff and campaign team, as part of this investigation. According to an attorney familiar with the probe, the committee has received “thousands of pages of records,” which includes “tons” of group text chats.
Rolling Stone obtained group texts from rally coordinators showing the Kremers claiming they collaborated with Trump’s White House team on the Ellipse event.
Kylie and Amy Kremer participated in the organization of the statewide “March For Trump” bus tour, where speakers advocated phony conspiracy theories about the election and demanded that the results be overturned.
On January 6, the tour came to a close with a big “Save America” rally on the White House Ellipse, which occurred as Trump’s loss was confirmed in the United States Capitol. The Kremers are also the founders of “Women for America First,” a group that was responsible for obtaining the Ellipse rally’s permit.
On January 6, Trump addressed the Ellipse rally, telling attendees to “walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” to the Capitol. In his speech, the former president urged the crowd to “fight like hell” while also “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Crowds of Trump supporters broke through Capitol complex barricades as the address ended. Following that, several supporters broke into the building and spent hours assaulting Capitol police and threatening lawmakers, delaying the certification of President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
There was no proof that the Kremers and other event organizers urged or planned violence in the group text exchanges analyzed by Rolling Stone.
Kylie requested the aide obtain the three “burner phones” while the group passed through Palm Springs, California about a week before the Ellipse event, according to the three sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the continuing investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack. The tour was set to begin on December 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, before heading on to California, according to the group’s website, which has since been deleted.
More traditional phone records may still contain proof of direct conversations between Kylie Kremer and the White House. According to the team member, Kylie Kremer used her regular phone to connect with Trump officials on rare occasions.
“She talked with Mark Meadows on her personal phone once, but mainly on the burner phone,” the team member says.
The sources who spoke with Rolling Stone about the phones also described an incident that occurred soon before the “March For Trump” bus tour began in Las Vegas last Christmas, just before the phones were supposedly purchased.
The party stayed at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, which is co-owned and operated by Trump’s real estate company. According to the team member, the group wanted to park their bus in front of the hotel, which was emblazoned with logos, a picture of Trump, and a sign reading “PROTECT ELECTION INTEGRITY,” according to the team member.
However, hotel management originally declined due to political sensitivities and a shortage of space in front of the building.
“The hotel manager said, ‘There’s no way in hell you can have that here unless you can have a member of the Trump family on the phone,’” the team member recalls.
The bus was positioned prominently in front of the hotel’s main door, according to photos seen by Rolling Stone. It was able to park because of calls from the Kremers to the Trump family.
“Amy and Kylie,” the team member says, “got Eric and Lara on the phone right away.”
The Select Committee has subpoenaed both Amy and Kylie Kremer to provide a “range of records that include materials dealing with the planning, funding, and participation in the events and bus tours; social media activity of associated entities; and communications with or involvement of Trump Administration officials and lawmakers.”