Hours after becoming the first president to be twice impeached, President Trump posted on the White House’s Twitter account on Wednesday evening a video condemning the storming of the Capitol complex by his supporters last week and has urged his supporters to avoid a repeat in days here in Washington and across the country. “
Mr Trump recorded the video under pressure from assistants, who warned him that he risked being exposed to justice for the riot, which occurred immediately after a speech in which he urged them to “ fight ” the election results, which he falsely claimed. has been stolen.
The president did not mention his own role in inciting violence last week. On Tuesday, he defended remarks he made at a rally before his supporters marched to Capitol Hill as “entirely appropriate” and said Congress’ efforts to impeach and condemn him “were causing a enormous anger ”.
He also did not acknowledge the loss of life or his own false claims that the election was stolen in the two months leading up to the rally last week.
The video came shortly after Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, made it clear in a statement that he was prepared to vote to condemn the president for the article of impeachment – a radical departure from a year ago, when Mr. McConnell whipped his fellow senators against a conviction in the president’s first impeachment trial. Just before the House called him Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Trump issued a statement to his supporters calling on Americans to “ease tensions and calm the spirits.”
In the video, the president did not mention the five people who died as a result of the violence on the Capitol. But he’s gone further in his language than at any time, as law enforcement braces for new insurgencies in Washington and across the country next week.
“As I said, the US Capitol’s foray has struck at the very heart of our Republic,” said Mr. Trump, his most forceful statement after a few attempts that gave his followers a fig leaf this week. last. “It angered and dismayed millions of Americans from all political walks of life.”
“I want to be very clear,” he continued. “I unequivocally condemn the violence we experienced last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement. Making America great again has always been about upholding the rule of law ”and supporting law enforcement officials.
During the riot of his supporters, a Capitol Police officer sustained serious head injuries and later died.
As a candidate in 2016, Mr. Trump once encouraged rally attendees to physically attack protesters. But in Wednesday’s video, he said that “the mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. None of my true supporters will ever be able to endorse political violence. “
“If you do any of these things, you don’t support our movement, you attack it and you attack our country,” he said. “We cannot tolerate it.”
On reports of further protests next week, Mr Trump said: “There must be no violence, no violation of the law, or vandalism of any kind.”
Michael gold contribution to reports.