After the House impeached him for a second time in a little more than a year, President Trump issued a video message from the Oval Office on Wednesday condemning the violence in the Capitol last week that prompted the Democrats’ charge against him of “incitement of insurrection.”
“Let me be very clear,” the president said, “I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week.
“Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement,” he said in a five-minute message in which he made no mention of impeachment.
The president said his theme of making America great again “has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement and upholding our nations’s most sacred traditions and values.”
“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,” he said. “No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.”
During debate before the impeachment vote, Republicans rebutted the incitement charge with Trump’s words in his speech Jan. 6, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 13, 2021
Earlier Wednesday, Trump issued a statement to Fox News calling on Americans to help “ease tensions and calm tempers.” And through a senior adviser, he called on Big Tech to join him in ensuring a peaceful transition.
“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” the president said his statement. “That is not what I stand for and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”
A senior Trump adviser told Fox News the president is “asking all Americans to join with him in ensuring that there is an orderly and peaceful transition next week.”
“President Trump is also asking that Big Tech companies join with him in this effort,” the adviser said.
The adviser added that it’s “a critical time in our nation’s history and surely we can all come together to deliver this important message and not continue to play partisan politics.”
The Democratic-led House voted 232-197 on Wednesday afternoon to impeach President Trump, with 10 Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, joining them.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led her caucus in crafting an article of impeachment charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” related to the storming of the Capitol building last Wednesday.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Wednesday that “violence has no place in our politics. Period.”
“I wholly condemned last week’s senseless acts of violence, and I strongly reiterate the calls to remain peaceful in the weeks ahead,” McDaniel said. “Those who partook in the assault on our nation’s Capitol and those who continue to threaten violence should be found, held accountable, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
She said “now is the time to come together as one nation, united in the peaceful pursuit of our common democratic purpose.”
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