President Trump incited Capitol siege at a rally on January 6
Republican politicians distance themselves from the President
Global community condemn Trump and his supporters
President Trump incited Capitol siege which has been labelled as his most dangerous move in his four-year tenure as the 45th president of the United States of America.
Donald Trump has not been one to shy away from controversy and on multiple occasions his comments have shocked the world as his behaviour was called into question, not to mention the state of his mental wellbeing.
For a number of weeks now, the president has stated that January 6, 2021 would be a day of retribution and, along with his faithful allies, he ensured that he remained true to his word.
Early on Wednesday, January 6, both the president and his associates set about sewing further seeds of discontent among his supporters using increasingly inflammatory language that clearly had the distinct purpose of driving his followers into a rage of support through non-peaceful methods of protest.
The president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, set the day off by stating that the disputes of the election result should be solved by a “trial of combat” at a rally prior to the start of the violent protests which many labelled as an act of criminal incitement to violence against public officials.
Rudy Giuliani says "I'm willing to stake my reputation” on the fact that there is election fraud:
“Let’s have trial by combat.” pic.twitter.com/Bhbx6fnPcq
— The Recount (@therecount) January 6, 2021
Donald Trump Jr encourage the onlookers to “fight” for their president and berated those that would not. He also used worrying rhetoric which could be easily construed as a form of encouraging fascism stating, “This isn’t their Republican Party anymore,” he said. “This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party.”
Donald Trump then took to the podium and his use of language was similarly inflammatory and incited his supporters towards non-peaceful means of protest encouraging them to march on the Capitol.
He told supporters, “We fight, we fight like hell. And if you don’t, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
“We will never give up. We will never concede,” the president continued. “Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.”
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) January 6, 2021
As President Trump, his allies and supporters were being whipped up into a state of fury and rage, a different type of debate was occurring just two miles down the road at the Capitol building.
A joint session of congress was being held to review and tabulate the Electoral College votes to officially confirm the winner of the November 2020 Presidential Election. Even during this traditionally civil exchange, Trump’s political supporters were seen to try to distance themselves from the presidents recent loud and public outcry at his loss of the election.
“If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “We’d never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years would be a scramble for power at any cost.”
He continued by stating that the US electoral system was purposefully designed to “stop short-term passions from boiling over and melting the foundations of our republic”
It was at this point that the mounting number of Trump-supporting protestors outside the building reached their peaceful limit and the gathering erupted into a riot. The protesters easily overcame what was a relatively small security detail and rushed the building as lawmakers, staff and media rushed to find shelter and the democratic proceedings ground to a sudden halt.
President Elect, Joe Biden, condemned the riots, stating “At this hour our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” he said. “An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself.”
He even went as far as to challenge President Trump to “to go on national television to condemn the violence and “demand an end to this siege”
This was not to happen however President Trump did take to Twitter, prior to his account being suspended by the platform to tell his supporters, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
However, by that time the damage was already done. During the riots, four people were killed and 52 arrested.
Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, made it exceptionally clear who he felt was to blame for the disastrous event, stating, “January 6 will go down as one of the darkest days in American history. A final warning to our nation of the consequences of the demagogic president, the people who enable him, the captive media that parrot his lies and the people who follow him as he attempts to push America to the brink of ruin.”
Republican Congresswoman, Lynne Cheney, tweeted, “We just had a violent mob assault the Capitol in an attempt to prevent those from carrying out our Constitutional duty. There is no question that the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob.”
We just had a violent mob assault the Capitol in an attempt to prevent those from carrying out our Constitutional duty. There is no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame. pic.twitter.com/nc9WLmtfuv
— Rep. Liz Cheney (@RepLizCheney) January 7, 2021
Republican Senator, Tom Cotton, said, “It’s past time for the president to accept the results of the election, quit misleading the American people, and repudiate mob violence,”
The fact that it was not just opposition party officials who were decrying the president’s behaviour but also many within his own party demonstrates a clear will and distinct effort to distance the Republican Party from Donald Trump and his tumultuous presidency.
Furthermore, the issue has, understandably, received international attention.
The UK’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel told BBC Breakfast that the events at the Capitol were “awful beyond words”.
Of President Trump’s rally presentation, she said, “His comments directly led to the violence, and so far he has failed to condemn that violence and that is completely wrong.”
She continued, “He basically has made a number of comments yesterday that helped to fuel that violence and he didn’t actually do anything to de-escalate that whatsoever… what we’ve seen is completely unacceptable.”
Other members and leaders of UK political parties across the political spectrum took to social media to condemn both the riots and President Trump’s involvement in inciting the behaviour in his supporters.
UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, tweeted, “The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”
Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 6, 2021
Leader of the Opposition, Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said it was a “direct attack on democracy,” and Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, labelled the riots “utterly horrifying”.
Horrendous scenes from the US.
These are not ‘protestors’ – this a direct attack on democracy and legislators carrying out the will of the American people.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) January 6, 2021
The scenes from the Capitol are utterly horrifying. Solidarity with those in 🇺🇸 on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Shame on those who have incited this attack on democracy.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) January 6, 2021
Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said that there was absolutely “no justification for these violent attempts to frustrate the lawful and proper transition of power”.
The US rightly takes great pride in its democracy, and there can be no justification for these violent attempts to frustrate the lawful and proper transition of power.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) January 6, 2021
Even the UK’s own political loud-mouth, leader of the Brexit Party, and personal friend of Mr Trump, Nigel Farage, condemned the actions however stopped short of laying the blame with the president, tweet, “Storming Capitol Hill is wrong. The protesters must leave.”
Storming Capitol Hill is wrong. The protesters must leave.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 6, 2021
It wasn’t just politicians in the UK that were quick to condemn the riots and the presidents involvement in encouraging them, political leaders and figures from across the globe took to the internet to make it extremely clear that they felt the scenes from the US were unacceptable and an afront to the democratic process.
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said, “Democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.”
Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 7, 2021
German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, posted on Twitter, “Trump and his supporters should finally accept the decision of the American voters and stop trampling on democracy. From inflammatory words come violent deeds.”
Trump und seine Unterstützer sollten endlich die Entscheidung der amerikanischen Wähler*Innen akzeptieren und aufhören, die Demokratie mit Füßen zu treten. (2)
— Heiko Maas 🇪🇺 (@HeikoMaas) January 6, 2021
Bashir Ahmad, a personal assistant to the president of Nigeria, simply tweeted, “The beauty of democracy?” accompanied by a shrug emoji.
The Beauty of Democracy? 🤷🏽♂️
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) January 6, 2021
Retired Italian centre-left politician, Pierluigi Castagnetti, stated, “This is the widely anticipated outcome of Trumpism. And unfortunately, it won’t end today. When politics is replaced by deception and fanaticism of the people the drift is inevitable.”
Former Prime Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt, tweeted, “This is insurrection. Nothing less. In Washington,”
This is insurrection. Nothing less. In Washington. pic.twitter.com/iclbvNTIII
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) January 6, 2021
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said, “Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the U.S. must be upheld — and it will be,”
Whilst it was always clear that Donald Trump was never going to leave office without noise or fuss, it was unlikely that anyone expected this level of sheer obstinacy.
However, it is clear that, whilst his fervent supporters will continue to buy into his ongoing rhetoric, Trump’s actions in the final weeks of his presidency may well have put the final nail in the coffin of any future political career.
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“President Trump incited Capitol siege and the global community condemns his actions”
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