President Donald Trump on Wednesday called for rioters occupying the Capitol to depart, hours after they first breached security on the complex.
“You have to go home now. We have to have peace,” Trump said in a one-minute video from outside the White House posted to his Twitter account.
Unlike other Republicans, Trump did not denounce the rioters. Instead he said, “We love you. You’re very special.”
“I know how you feel, but go home and go home in peace,” the outgoing president said.
Trump also perpetuated the falsehood that the election was “stolen from us,” a cause that has fueled the takeover of the Capitol by Trump’s most fervent supporters.
“This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace,” the president said.
Twitter quickly restricted sharing of the video and other actions “due to a risk of violence.”
Trump’s message came after he sent two tweets that were derided by Republicans and Democrats alike as insufficient to quell the uprising, in which the House and Senate were both forced into lockdown, Vice President Mike Pence was rushed out of the Senate chamber, and images from the House appeared to show an armed standoff at that chamber’s front door.
The video also came after president-elect Joe Biden gave a speech calling on Trump to “step up” and take on the rioters.
“At their best, the words of a president can inspire,” Biden said. “At their worst, they can incite.”
Trump urges ‘special’ Capitol rioters to ‘go home now’ The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Politico.