One week after his supporters stormed Capitol Hill in a lethal riot, and hours after his second impeachment within the House, President Donald Trump on Wednesday delivered his clearest condemnation but of the Jan. 6 violence.
“I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week, violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country, and no place in our movement,” Trump stated in a video posted by the White House’s official Twitter account.
Trump took no accountability for the assaults.
The five-minute video, which seems to indicate Trump talking from the Resolute Desk of the Oval Office, arrived because the president faces an upcoming trial within the Senate.
Democrats have pushed for Trump’s quick removing from workplace, arguing that his presence in energy poses a “clear and current hazard” to the nation. Senate majority chief, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has stated he’s undecided on how he’ll vote in that trial.
Trump’s message additionally comes as federal authorities and the lawyer normal of the District of Columbia haven’t dominated out prosecuting Trump for inciting the mob of his supporters who invaded the Capitol.
The president’s personal account had been completely suspended by Twitter days earlier in response to his preliminary reactions to that invasion.
As his supporters streamed into the Capitol, derailing a joint session of Congress shortly after it started the method of confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Trump tweeted an assault on Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the occasion.
Trump had pressured Pence to attempt to overturn the election outcomes, and heaped extra stress on his veep throughout a rally earlier than 1000’s of his supporters exterior the White House simply earlier than Congress convened to substantiate the Electoral College votes. Many of these supporters walked on to the Capitol following the president’s speech.
That identical day, in a video posted to social media, Trump urged his followers to “go home” whereas as soon as once more spreading the false conspiracy that the election had been stolen from him.
“So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil,” Trump stated in that video.
Five individuals, together with a U.S. Capitol Police officer, died on account of the siege of the constructing. lawmakers and others, together with Pence, have been pressured to evacuate their respective chambers and conceal from the mob for hours as rioters trashed workplaces, stole property and clashed with regulation enforcement.
The Justice Department has charged greater than 70 individuals concerned in riots and has opened greater than 170 investigations. Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen stated extra arrests are coming.
Democrats moved with unprecedented pace to draft an article of impeachment towards Trump for inciting an rebel. On Wednesday afternoon, the article handed in a 232-197 vote, with 10 Republicans voting to question Trump.
Trump as just lately as Tuesday had defended his remarks on the pre-riot rally.
“People thought what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump claimed, regardless that lots of his personal supporters in Congress, together with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have stated the president bears accountability for the mob.
Trump in his newest remarks didn’t point out his rally final Wednesday, the place he directed his supporters towards the Capitol after asserting a wide range of false and deceptive claims about election fraud. He additionally didn’t point out his newest impeachment, which got here lower than every week earlier than Biden is ready to be inaugurated.
But he did reject all types of political violence and vandalism, and stated that “those who engaged in the attacks last week will be brought to justice.”
“No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence, no true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans,” Trump stated within the video.
Media retailers together with The Washington Post reported that Trump had been tough to succeed in through the disaster on the Capitol, partly as a result of he was watching the chaos unfold reside on tv.
The president, a heavy person of social media whose on-line presence has been largely worn out within the wake of the riot, additionally decried “the unprecedented assault on free speech we have seen in recent days.”
“These are tense, and difficult times, the efforts to censor cancel and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong,” he stated. “What is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another.”
Trump has acknowledged that Biden’s administration will quickly take cost, however he has nonetheless not formally conceded the race to the Democrat.
Officials have expressed issues that extra mob violence in Washington and different state capitols could possibly be coming between now and Biden’s inauguration. The National Guard was deployed to the Capitol, producing hanging pictures of teams of uniformed service members resting in hallways and on columns within the coronary heart of U.S. authorities.
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