President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged swarms of his supporters rioting in and across the U.S. Capitol to “go home now,” whereas persevering with to falsely insist that his reelection was stolen.
He additionally advised later within the day that the invasion of the Capitol by his supporters was a pure consequence of his victory being “stripped away.” Officials have discovered no proof of widespread fraud and dozens of lawsuits aimed toward flipping the outcomes have failed in courtroom.
Both tweets had been deleted Wednesday night. It was not instantly clear whether or not the president, his officers or Twitter itself had deleted the tweets. When requested who scrubbed the tweets and why, White House spokesman Judd Deere responded: “Have you asked Twitter?”
The president’s earlier remarks in a quick video on Twitter got here after lawmakers on each side of the aisle publicly urged him to talk out with pressure towards the chaos attributable to his base. The pro-Trump mob stormed the constructing, derailing Congress’ authorized responsibility to substantiate the election outcomes — historically a quick, professional forma ceremony.
Nearly 40 seconds of the one-minute video, nonetheless, confirmed Trump providing sympathy for the rioters.
“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt,” Trump stated. “We had an election that was stolen from us, it was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side.”
“But you have to go home now, we have to have peace,” he added. “We have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order.”
In one other tweet despatched later Wednesday, Trump appeared to justify the mob’s actions.
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” he wrote. “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
The president’s messages adopted a lockdown on the Capitol constructing, the place a joint session of Congress was underway to depend the Electoral College ballots and make sure President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Shortly after Congress started the proceedings, presided over by Vice President Mike Pence, throngs of pro-Trump protesters migrated to the Capitol. The course of got here to an abrupt halt quickly after; Pence and different officers had been shortly evacuated.
“We don’t want anybody hurt,” Trump stated in his video assertion. Reports of accidents have already emerged, together with not less than one particular person shot on the Capitol and 5 despatched to the hospital, in response to NBC News.
“It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us, from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election. But we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace,” he stated.
“So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.”
Several officers, together with Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, begged Trump to flatly condemn his supporters’ unprecedented actions.
Less than an hour earlier than the video’s launch, Biden spoke in particular person to reporters and unequivocally condemned the riots, demanding that Trump do the identical on nationwide tv.
“I call on President Trump to go on national television now, to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege,” Biden stated.
Trump earlier within the day, at a rally exterior the White House, angrily lashed out at a big selection of his perceived political enemies, together with “weak Republicans” who refused to assist in his efforts to overturn the election.
He repeatedly pressured Pence to reject key electoral votes throughout the joint session of Congress to be able to hand Trump reelection.
The vice chairman rejected these calls for, initially frightening a livid tweet from Trump claiming Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done.” Experts say Pence’s function within the course of is ceremonial and he has no authorized proper to reject any votes.
Critics had been fast to accuse Trump of stoking anger among the many protesters who had been already surrounding the Capitol on the time the message was despatched.
Minutes later, Trump despatched two tweets asking the crowds to keep peaceable.