Jul 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Wall Street Journal editorial board condemns Trump's behavior on Jan. 6

Trump at a rally
Former President Trump at a rally in support of Arizona GOP candidates on July 22 in Prescott Valley, Ariz. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Two U.S. newspapers' editorial boards sharply criticized former President Trump on Friday for his inaction as a mob of his supporters stormed the halls of Congress during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Driving the news: The House select committee investigating Jan 6. on Thursday laid out a timeline of what Trump was doing as his supporters breached the building in an effort to stop the certification of the 2020 election results.

  • While the situation spiraled out of hand, Trump did little to try to restore order over three-plus hours as the Secret Service and Capitol Police struggled to evacuate lawmakers and congressional staffers fearing for their safety.

What they’re saying: “Mr. Trump took an oath to defend the Constitution, and he had a duty as Commander in Chief to protect the Capitol from a mob attacking it in his name,” the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board wrote Friday after the committee’s latest prime-time hearing.

  • “He refused. He didn’t call the military to send help. He didn’t call Mr. Pence to check on the safety of his loyal VP. Instead he fed the mob’s anger and let the riot play out.”
  • Since then, the board wrote, Trump had not shown “an iota of regret” for what unfolded.
  • “Character is revealed in a crisis, and Mr. Pence passed his Jan. 6 trial. Mr. Trump utterly failed his,” its editorial concluded.

Likewise, the historically Trump-friendly New York Post editorial board condemned the former president's conduct in a separate piece.

  • "His only focus was to find any means — damn the consequences — to block the peaceful transfer of power," the board wrote. "There is no other explanation, just as there is no defense, for his refusal to stop the violence."
  • Trump’s conduct during the riot shows he is “unworthy” of being president again, should he run in 2024, the board concluded.

What we're watching: Trump has not yet responded to the editorials.

Go deeper