Jan 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

After impeachment, Trump says he "unequivocally" condemns U.S. Capitol violence

Photo of Donald Trump looking out
Photo: MANDEL NGAN via Getty

President Trump condemned political violence in a video Wednesday evening exactly one week after a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol in a deadly siege, and hours after the House voted to impeach him for a second time.

Why it matters: The video, posted to the White House's official Twitter account, came as the president faces an impeachment trial in the Senate after 10 Republicans voted with House Democrats for impeachment.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Republican colleagues Wednesday that he has "not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”

What he’s saying: "Mob violence goes against everything I believe in, and everything our movement stands for," Trump said. "No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag.

  • "No true supporter of mine could threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things, you’re not supporting our movement. You’re attacking it, and you’re attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it."
  • "America is a nation of laws," he added. "Those who engaged in the attacks last week will be brought to justice."
  • The president also appeared to call out Twitter and other social media platforms for suspending his accounts, some permanently, in response to his comments on the siege.
    • "The efforts to censor, cancel and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong and they are dangerous. What is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another."

Flashback: At a rally before his supporters breached the Capitol, Trump took a different tone as he told supporters to "fight like hell."

  • "We will not be intimidated into accepting the hoaxes and the lies that we’ve been forced to believe over the past several weeks," he said. "And we got to get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world, we got to get rid of them."

The big picture: Trump has lost several allies since the insurrection — the House's highest-ranking Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday that the president "bears responsibility" for last week's events.

  • Two days thereafter, Trump acknowledged that a "new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20," and said he would focus on a "seamless transition of power."
  • But Trump has yet to mention President-elect Biden publicly by name nor officially concede.
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