Donald Trump says speech before Capitol riot was ‘totally appropriate’, impeachment ‘ridiculous’

Donald Trump says speech before Capitol riot was ‘totally appropriate’, impeachment ‘ridiculous’


US President Donald Trump has made his first public appearance since last week’s riot in Washington D.C., insisting the speech he gave to supporters just before they stormed the Capitol was “totally appropriate”.

“So if you read my speech – and many people have done it, and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television. It’s been analysed, and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Mr Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One this morning.

The President is travelling to Texas, where he is expected to visit the border wall with Mexico and talk about immigration.

“And 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, what they said,” he continued.

“But they’ve analysed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, and everybody thought it was totally appropriate.”

In earlier comments as he left the White House, Mr Trump labelled the push to impeach him a second time and remove him from office a “witch hunt”.

“We want no violence, never violence, absolutely no violence,” the President said.

“On impeachment, it really is a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics. 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.

“For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger.

“I want no violence. Thank you very much.”

Read on for the latest news.

Live Updates

Sam Clench

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has spoken out against his party’s effort to impeach Donald Trump, calling it “ill-advised”.

“You need 67 votes. I think by arithmetic, that means we need 19 Republicans. I don’t see that, and I think the House should know that also. We’ve been trying to send that message over. They know the votes aren’t there,” Mr Manchin told Fox News.

“I think this is so ill-advised, for Joe Biden to be coming in trying to be the president of all the people, when we’re going to be so divided and fighting again.”

Mr Manchin represents West Virginia, a deep red state, and as such is known as one of the most moderate Democrats in Congress.

“Let the investigations go on,” he argued.

“Let the evidence come forth. And then we can go forth from there. There is no rush to do this impeachment now, we can do it later if they think it’s necessary.”

One of the arguments Democrats have made for impeaching Mr Trum p now is he should be removed from office urgently, however a trial in the Senate is unlikely to start before January 20.

Impeachment can take place after he leaves, and that would still allow a vote to bar him from seeking the presidency again.

Sam Clench

The Washington Post reports an FBI office in Virginia issued an internal warning that extremists were planning to travel to Washington D.C. for "war" the day before the Capitol riot.

“As of January 5, 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on January 6 in Washington,” the internal FBI warning says.

“An online thread discussed specific calls for violence: ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, a rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.'”

BLM stands for Black Lives Matter, and “Pantifa” is presumably meant to be a witty (?) reference to Antifa.

One of the key threads being investigated in the aftermath of the riot is why law enforcement agencies were not better prepared.

Sam Clench

Democrats in the House of Representatives have been briefed about “specific” and “credible” threats to the safety of Congress during Joe Biden’s inauguration, including a plan to surround the Capitol with thousands of armed “patriots”.

Congressman Conor Lamb spoke to CNN this morning.

“The threats we are facing are very specific. I don’t want anyone watching at home to think, like, that we’re just sort of imagining things could be bad,” he said.

“They were talking about 4000 armed ‘patriots’ to surround the Capitol, and prevent any Democrat from going in. And they have published rules of engagement, meaning when you shoot and when you don’t.

“So this is an organised group that has a plan. They are committed to doing what they’re doing, because I think in their minds, they are patriots. And they’re talking about 1776.”

That was the year in which the American colonies signed the Declaration of Independence. They went on to win their independence from Britain in the Revolutionary War.

“We are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted, they have to be stopped,” said Mr Lamb.

“So to be clear, these are specific, credible threats that you’ve heard, that law enforcement believe are legitimate, and they’re taking seriously and planning for?” host Alisyn Camerota asked.

“Yes,” he answered.

As the FBI warns about “armed protests” being planned at all 50 state capitols and in Washington, DC, Rep. Conor Lamb says the threats are very “specific.”

“We are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted. They have to be stopped.” pic.twitter.com/JG5tqGljYk

— New Day (@NewDay) January 12, 2021
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Sam Clench

The President spoke again at Joint Base Andrews before boarding Air Force One. A reporter asked him about his speech just before the Capitol riot and whether he took any “personal responsibility”.

“So if you read my speech – and many people have done it, and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television. It’s been analysed, and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” said Mr Trump.

“And 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, what they said.

“But they’ve analysed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, and everybody thought it was totally appropriate.”

Sam Clench

Donald Trump has spoken briefly to reporters on his way out of the White House. He’s heading to Texas to talk about immigration.

“We want no violence, never violence, absolutely no violence,” Mr Trump said.

“On impeachment, it really is a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics. 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.

“For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger.

“I want no violence. Thank you very much.”

Sam Clench

One of the most prolific donors in US politics, conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson, has died at the age of 87.

“It is with unbearable pain that I announce the death of my husband, Sheldon Adelson, of complications from a long illness,” his wife, Dr Miriam Adelson, said in a statement this morning.

“Sheldon was the love of my life. He was my partner in romance, philanthropy, political activism and enterprise. He was my soulmate.

“To me – as to his children, grandchildren, and his legions of friends and admirers, employees and colleagues – he is utterly irreplaceable.”
Mr Adelson had long been among the biggest donors in politics, giving millions of dollars to Republicans in each election cycle. Former president George W. Bush is among those now paying tribute to him.

“Laura and I mourn the passing of a friend, Sheldon Adelson,” Mr Bush said.

“Sheldon battled his way out of a tough Boston neighbourhood to build a successful enterprise that loyally employed tens of thousands, and entertained millions.

“He was an American patriot.”

Sam Clench

One of Donald Trump’s Cabinet secretaries, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, refused to say whether he had discussed invoking the 25th Amendment with his colleagues during an appearance on ABC News this morning.

“Have you had discussions about the 25th Amendment with either other Cabinet members or the Vice President?” asked host George Stephanopoulos.

“It would not be appropriate for me to discuss, and I never have, my conversations with colleagues or with the President or Vice President, George,” Mr Azar replied.

Pressed again, he still refused to give an answer one way or the other.

“Do you believe what the President did this week showed that he is able to discharge the duties of his office or not?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“The rhetoric last week was unacceptable. I’m not going to get into or discuss the 25th Amendment here,” Mr Azar said.

“I’m committed – I’ve wrestled with this – I’m committed to see this through in my role as Health Secretary during a pandemic, to ensure that vaccines and therapeutics get out to the American people, and to ensure a smooth handoff to president-elect Biden’s team.”

HHS Sec. Alex Azar won’t say if he’d vote to remove Trump: “The rhetoric last week was unacceptable. I’m not going to get into or discuss the 25th Amendment here. I’ve wrestled with this, I’m committed to see this through in my role as Health Sec. during a pandemic…” pic.twitter.com/yD1vwwPBMv

— The Recount (@therecount) January 12, 2021
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Sam Clench

Deutsche Bank has decided to cease doing business with Donald Trump, in a move sure to place more financial strain on the President’s various business ventures.

The bank has not issued an official statement on the matter, but the decision has been reported by multiple US media outlets. It was first revealed by The New York Times.

Mr Trump has a long history with Deutsche Bank. It has lent the Trump Organisation more than $US300 million dollars over the last decade, and it was the only institution willing to issue loans to him in the wake of his bankruptcies in the early 1990s.

It also helped finance some of his more recent projects, such as the Doral golf resort in Florida and the Trump International Hotel in Washington. The Trump Organisation still owes it several hundred million dollars.

Signature Bank, where Mr Trump holds personal accounts with about $5 million, has also started to cut ties with the President. In a statement today, it called for his resignation.

“We have never before commented on any political matter and hope to never do so again. However, as Americans we are deeply, deeply saddened by the rioting and insurrection which took place in the most sacred of American institutions, our Capitol,” it said.

“We witnessed the President of the United States encouraging the rioters and refraining from calling in the National Guard to protect Congress in its performance of duty.

“We believe the appropriate action would be the resignation of the President of the United States, which is in the best interests of our nation and the American people.”

Sam Clench

One of Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters in Congress, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, has reportedly slapped down the President for claiming “Antifa people” were behind the Capitol riot.

Mr Trump made the allegation during a 30-minute phone call with Mr McCarthy yesterday, repeating a baseless theory that has been circulating on some right-wing conspiracy websites.

Axios reports the Republican Congressman “would have none of it”.

“It’s not Antifa. It’s MAGA. I know, I was there,” Mr McCarthy said.

The theory suggests Antifa activists infiltrated the crowd of Trump supporters and perpetrated acts of violence to make the President look bad. It originated from a story published, and later retracted, by The Washington Times, which claimed a facial recognition company had matched people pictured during the riot to Antifa members.

The story was completely false. The company in question clarified that it actually identified members of neo-Nazi organisations, and a QAnon supporter.

The Justice Department and FBI have found “no indication” that Antifa was involved.

Reporter Jonathan Swan says the phone call between Mr Trump and Mr McCarthy was “aggressive at times”, and the Minority Leader grew “exasperated” as Mr Trump repeated his debunked allegations about voter fraud.

“Stop it. It’s over. The election is over,” he told the President.

Stephanie Bedo

Ivanka Trump reportedly wants to go to Joe Biden’s inauguration to be a “good sport” and save her political career.

But it’s claimed the move has caused a major rift with her dad, who has already publicly stated he won’t attend the January 20 event.

The Daily Mail reports Ivanka fears her “promising political career is in jeopardy” and is doing “whatever she can to save her reputation”.

Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP

The report quotes a White House insider who claims Donald Trump is up in arms about her decision because the family should put on a united front.

“He said it’s an insult that she would even want to engage with the crooks that are trying to bring him down,” the source claimed.

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Source: https://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/us-politics/trump-protesters-and-antifa-clash-in-violent-scenes-in-san-diego/live-coverage/53d5d9e2eebe3fdf2b9028bca368c523

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