Donald Trump defends ′totally appropriate′ remarks before US Capitol riot | News | DW | 12.01.2021
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Donald Trump defends 'totally appropriate' remarks before US Capitol riot

US President Donald Trump said there is "tremendous anger" over the latest bid to impeach him, but added he doesn't want any more violence. He also defended his remarks ahead of the attack as "totally appropriate."

Donald Trump addresses his supporters at a rally in Washington ahead of the attack on the US Capitol

Trump has come under fire for his role in the US Capitol attack, including a speech he made at a rally in Washington before supporters stormed the building (pictured here)

US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that there was "tremendous anger" over efforts to impeach him for his role in inciting the deadly attack on the US Capitol.

He also did not take responsibility for encouraging his supporters to march on the building as lawmakers were certifying President-elect Joe Biden's win.

When asked about whether he bears responsibility for the violence, the president said his remarks at a rally proceeding the storming of the building were "totally appropriate."

"They've analyzed my speech in my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody to the tee just thought it was totally appropriate," the president said prior to a trip to Texas.

What did Trump say ahead of the attack?

Last Wednesday, Trump addressed a crowd of his supporters at a rally in Washington, imploring them to "fight'' and show "strength" to stop the "steal" of the election.

He encouraged them to march on the Capitol just minutes before the crowd stormed the building.

While rioters were still inside, he released a video telling the mob to go home while also appearing to downplay the violence. Addressing the rioters, he said: "We love you. You're very special."

In the months leading up to the riot, Trump also repeated false claims that there was widespread election fraud.

Lashing out at impeachment bid 

His remarks to reporters on Tuesday were the first he's delivered since a mob of his supporters stormed the US Capitol last week, leaving five dead.

Watch video 00:46

Trump: 'We want absolutely no violence'

Trump also hit back at the latest bid to impeach him — this time for inciting last week's violence. 

"To continue on this path, I think it's causing tremendous danger to our country, and it's causing tremendous anger," he said, adding: "I want no violence."

He also voiced anger at Big Tech companies after Twitter and Facebook banned him on their platforms for encouraging violence.

He said the companies had made a "terrible mistake," accusing them of "dividing" the country.

Trump dismisses efforts to remove him

After Trump arrived in Texas later Tuesday to visit the southern border wall with Mexico, he dismissed efforts to remove him from office early.

"The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me," Trump said, referring to the constitutional amendment that enables a president's Cabinet to remove them if deemed unable to fulfill their duties.

Trump warned that the amendment "will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration," without further explanation. 

What happens next?

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives will reconvene on Tuesday to vote on a bid to remove Trump from office early.

The resolution calls on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which declares a president unable to serve. 

Pence is not expected to take action, meaning the Democrat-majority House would then move to impeach Trump for a second time.

On Monday, lawmakers introduced an impeachment resolution charging the president with "incitement of insurrection." 

They are expected to begin debating the impeachment measure on Wednesday. 

Biden is due to be sworn into office on January 20, with the FBI warning of potential armed protests in the nation's capital and other states by Trump supporters.

rs/rt (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)

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