- Speaking publicly for the first time in several days, President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that “people” believe a speech he gave that incited last week’s deadly Capitol insurrection was “totally appropriate.”
- He also said that the push to impeach him over his role in the insurrection was “absolutely ridiculous” and that there was “tremendous anger” over it, though he didn’t specify who was angry.
- “On the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics,” Trump said, adding: “I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country. I want no violence.”
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President Donald Trump argued on Tuesday that the speech he gave at a rally last week that incited a mob of his supporters to storm that US Capitol was “totally appropriate.”
“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” the president told reporters at the White House before leaving to visit the US border wall in Alamo, Texas.
“If you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level, about the riots in the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other places, that was the real problem, what they said,” he added, referring to the largely peaceful antiracism demonstrations that swept the country last year after the police killing of George Floyd.
He added that the House of Representatives’ push to impeach him after he incited the deadly insurrection was “absolutely ridiculous,” saying there was “tremendous anger” over the impeachment talks, though he didn’t specify who was angry.
“On the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics,” Trump said.
“I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country,” he said, adding, “I want no violence.”
President Trump: "We want no violence…on the impeachment, it's really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics…I think it's causing tremendous danger in to our country…I want no violence." pic.twitter.com/cqu5e0KspQ
— TV News HQ (@TVNewsHQ) January 12, 2021
The House is expected to pass a resolution Tuesday evening calling on Vice President Mike Pence to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the president from office, which Pence is unlikely to do. The House plans to begin impeachment proceedings against the president this week if Pence doesn’t act.
Trump was impeached in late 2019 over his efforts to strong-arm the Ukrainian government into launching politically motivated investigations targeting the Bidens ahead of the 2020 election. The House charged Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him. If he’s impeached this week, Trump will be the only US president to have been impeached twice.
Since losing his massive social-media megaphone after the Capitol riot, Trump has been relatively silent in the past several days, privately stewing over his deplatforming and believing that it will galvanize his supporters.
Shortly before Wednesday’s riot, the president egged his supporters on at a rally near the White House and told them to march to the Capitol to stop Congress and Vice President Mike Pence from counting the 2020 electoral votes.
The ensuing chaos at the Capitol resulted in five deaths, including that of a 42-year-old Capitol Police officer who died after Trump supporters beat him with a fire extinguisher. Twitter permanently barred Trump from its platform, citing a risk of further violence, and Facebook and Instagram also blocked him from posting. The social-media app Parler, which is popular among right-wing figures, Trump supporters, neo-Nazis, and violent extremists, was booted from the Apple and Google app stores, as well as from Amazon’s cloud hosting service.
The fintech company Stripe stopped processing Trump campaign donations after the insurrection, and a slew of companies halted donations to Trump and other Republican lawmakers who supported his long-shot bid to overturn the election results and steal back the White House.
The FBI also said in an internal bulletin obtained by ABC News that Trump supporters were planning “armed protests” at the US Capitol and at all 50 state capitols leading up to January 20. HuffPost reported that the Capitol Police briefed Democratic lawmakers on Monday night about more potentially violent demonstrations being planned, including one plot that would involve insurrectionists surrounding the Capitol, the White House, and the Supreme Court and assassinating Democrats to give Republicans control of the US government.
The Pentagon on Monday said it would review the troops scheduled to be deployed to Biden’s inauguration to make sure they don’t have ties to domestic terrorism. The head of the National Guard said 10,000 to 15,000 guardsmen would be sent to Washington, DC, by Saturday to support local forces heading into the inauguration.
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