The president, in a new video, called on his supporters not to engage in violent demonstrations that federal law enforcement warns might be brewing.
President Donald Trump issued a last-ditch appeal to nonviolence in a video statement on Wednesday, just after the House voted to make him the first twice-impeached American president on a charge of inciting an insurrection.
In a video posted to the White House Twitter account on Wednesday evening, Trump called on his supporters not to engage in violent demonstrations that federal law enforcement warns might be brewing in state capitals and Washington. The message was a stark contrast to the bombastic calls to fight the electoral win of President-elect Joe Biden that led to thousands of his supporters storming the Capitol in a deadly attack last week.
In his video, Trump denounced the Capitol attack as an incursion that “struck at the very heart of our republic.”
“I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week,” Trump said, speaking from the Oval Office. “Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement. Make America Great Again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement and upholding our nation’s most sacred traditions and values.”
But absent from the video was any sense of responsibility or remorse for the attack, which even some of his closest allies blame him for. Trump said those who engaged in the attack “will be brought to justice,” but he did not mention the article of impeachment against him that came together at lightning speed this past week.
Trump told reporters on Tuesday that his goading remarks to his supporters ahead of the Capitol attack were “totally appropriate,” and instead tried to shift focus to the summer of protests last year amid a reckoning on police violence and racism.
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