President Donald Trump condemns the 'calamity at the Capitol' ⇅
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President Donald Trump released a statement Wednesday condemning the violence that took place at the Capitol last week, and urging his supporters to calm tempers and help promote peace in the country. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi.
One week after his supporters stormed Capitol Hill in a deadly riot and hours after his second impeachment in the House, President Donald Trump on Wednesday delivered his clearest condemnation yet of the Jan. 6 violence.
“I want to be very clear. 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,” Trump said in a video posted by the White House’s official Twitter account.
Trump took no responsibility for the attacks.
The five-minute video, which appears to show Trump speaking from the Resolute Desk of the Oval Office, arrived as the president faces an upcoming trial in the Senate.
Democrats have pushed for Trump’s immediate removal from office, arguing that his presence in power poses a “clear and present danger” to the nation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he is undecided on how he will vote in that trial.
Trump’s message also comes as federal authorities and the attorney general of the District of Columbia have not ruled out prosecuting Trump for inciting the mob of his supporters who invaded the Capitol.
The president’s own Twitter account had been permanently suspended days earlier in response to his initial reactions to that invasion.
As his supporters streamed into the Capitol, derailing a joint session of Congress shortly after it began the process of confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Trump tweeted an attack on Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the event.
Trump had pressured Pence to try to overturn the election results and heaped additional pressure on Pence during a rally before thousands of his supporters outside the White House just before Congress convened to confirm the Electoral College votes. Many of those supporters walked directly to the Capitol following the president’s speech.
That same day, in a video posted to social media, Trump urged his followers to “go home” while once again spreading the false conspiracy theory that the election had been stolen from him.
“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,” Trump said in that video.
Five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the siege of the building. Lawmakers and others, including Pence, were forced to evacuate their respective chambers and hide from the mob for hours as rioters trashed offices, stole property and clashed with law enforcement.
The Justice Department has charged more than 70 people in the riots and has opened more than 170 investigations. Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said more arrests are coming.
Democrats moved with unprecedented speed to draft an article of impeachment against Trump for inciting an insurrection. On Wednesday afternoon, the article passed in a 232-197 vote, with 10 Republicans voting to impeach Trump.
Trump as recently as Tuesday had defended his remarks at the pre-riot rally.
“People thought what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump claimed, even though many of his own supporters in Congress, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have said the president bears responsibility for the mob.
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