President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Monday disparaged the Capitol rioters in their first meeting since last week’s insurrection.
An unnamed senior administration official told the Associated Press that the two Republican leaders had a “good conversation” and “reflected” on their accomplishments during their private evening meeting at the Oval Office.
Trump and Pence also condemned the rioters that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, with both men in agreement that “those who broke the law and stormed the Capitol last week do not represent the American first movement backed by 75 million Americans,” the official said.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the private meeting.
Shortly after their meeting, Trump approved an emergency declaration in Washington D.C. and ordered federal authorities to prepare for President-elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration on January 20. The declaration will take effect from Monday and end on January 24.
The FBI has sent a memo to law enforcement officials across America warning of expected armed pro-Trump protests in all 50 states this month. The bureau also said an armed group has threatened to stage a rebellion in Washington D.C. if Trump is removed from office before serving out the remaining days of his term.
Trump and allies have spent the past two months pushing a false theory that widespread voter fraud caused Biden’s election win. His campaign filed dozens of lawsuits in swing states seeking to overturn his defeat but the efforts were unsuccessful. Polls showed that a majority of Republicans believed the claims, with some staging protests in various parts of the country demanding a second Trump term.
In the days before January 6, Trump shared videos encouraging supporters to march in Washington D.C. to “Stop the Steal” as lawmakers convened to certify Biden’s win. On the day, the president addressed the crowds, urging them to “fight much harder” against America certifying an “illegitimate president.”
“Now it’s up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy. And after this, we’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you,” he said. “We’re going to the Capitol.”
Hundreds of Democrats blamed Trump for inciting violence after a mob stormed the Capitol later that day, leaving 5 dead and forcing lawmakers to be evacuated. Amid mounting backlash and calls for his resignation or impeachment, Trump acknowledged Biden’s win for the first time on Thursday evening.
“A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th,” the president said in a video. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.
Trump and Pence Condemned Capitol Rioters in Their First Meeting Since Insurrection The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Newsweek.