On Tuesday, he called the Democrats’ impeachment effort “dangerous.”
After about an hour of House debate during which Democrats accused him of “incitement of insurrection,” the White House put out a “Statement from the President,” saying “there must be NO violence.”
“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. 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,” the statement said.
With just one week left in office, the While House has not said if the president will be watching the impeachment debate and vote as he did in 2020 and it was unclear if he will be heard from at all.
Isolated and under a social media lockout with his Twitter account permanently suspended, Trump has few options to distract or defend himself against the ongoing impeachment.
When, on Tuesday, he broke his public silence since the Capitol attack, speaking to reporters on the White House South Lawn, he framed himself as a victim and lashed out at the Democrats’ impeachment effort.
“On the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics,” Trump said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous. This impeachment is causing tremendous anger, and you’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing.”
The walls appeared to be slowly, but surely, closing in around the president as his former allies are turning against him following his response to the insurrection at the Capitol.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, once one of the president’s staunchest defenders, has signaled that he is ready to purge Trump from the Republican party. ABC News has confirmed that McConnell is furious with the president and supports Democratic efforts, believing that Trump committed impeachable offenses.
While Trump has expressed no public regret and declined to take responsibility for his role in the riots last week, ABC News has learned that House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy told fellow members that the president admitted to him that he might be “a little bit” responsible for the events that transpired.
In his first formal public appearance since the assault, Trump on Tuesday visited the border wall he’s touted in Texas and stood by his widely condemned speech Wednesday leading up to the riots and showed no remorse for a mob putting the lives of members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence in danger.
“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump said Tuesday.
He minimized what he said before the Capitol riot, claiming that what was said about the summer protests following the death of George Floyd, focused on racial injustice, were worse.
“If you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other places, that was a real problem,” Trump said.