In his first public comments since thousands of MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol last week, President Donald Trump on Tuesday doubled down on his inflammatory rhetoric that incited the mob—and warned Congress that impeachment would be dangerous to the United States.
Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House as he left for a trip to the border wall in Alamo, Texas, insisted that his comments last Wednesday weren’t harmful. Just moments after the speech, thousands of his supporters invaded the Capitol as Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, leaving a wake of destruction. Five died in the mayhem, including a Capitol Police officer who was attacked by the mob, and dozens more were injured.
“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump said Tuesday, after being asked whether he would take any personal responsibility for the violence. “I want no violence,” he added. “It’s been analyzed and people thought what I said was totally appropriate.”
Trump then compared Wednesday’s attack on America’s beacon of democracy to the protests that erupted last summer over racial injustice and police brutality. “If you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level, about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other—other places. That was a big problem, is what they say,” he said.
During the Wednesday speech, Trump vowed to demolish any Republican who opposed him and took aim at Vice President Mike Pence for not going along with his efforts to overturn the election.
“You have to get your people to fight, and if they don’t fight we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight. We’re going to let you know who they are,” Trump said in the rambling speech.
Trump has yet to condemn the Wednesday riots—and instead urged his supporters in a video speech to “go home,” saying, “We love you.”
On Tuesday, Trump continued his attacks on elected officials—this time going after Democratic lawmakers who plan to vote Wednesday to impeach him and charge him with “incitement of insurrection.”
“This impeachment is causing tremendous anger and they’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing,” Trump said. The president added that the move to impeach him is a continuation of the “greatest witch hunt in history.”
The president then went after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer specifically.
“For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our county and it’s causing tremendous anger. I want no violence,” Trump said.
Trump also slammed the various social media companies that have banned him, saying, “They are making a catastrophic mistake… They’re dividing and divisive, and they’re showing something that I’ve been predicting for a long time.” The high-profile platforms that have blocked Trump include Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
In an apparent reference to his ban on Twitter and elsewhere, Trump insisted it is “very, very bad for our country and that’s leading others to do the same thing.”
“And it causes a lot of problems and a lot of danger. Big mistake. They shouldn’t be doing it,” Trump. “But there’s always a counter move when they do that. I’ve never seen such anger as I see right now and that’s a terrible thing.”
President Donald Trump Defends ‘Totally Appropriate’ Rally Speech That Incited Capitol Mob The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ The Daily Beast.