Did y’all really think Donald Trump was about to take some responsibility for the attack on the nation’s Capitol?! Ha!
For the umpteenth and hopefully final time, the POTUS with the mostest criminal investigations did something absolutely horrible, so bad that he was in danger of losing the mass of the Republican party writ large instead of just the few who seem to have consciences and, you know, eyes. He came on TV and addressed the nation from his teleprompter, sounding it out like a sixth grader being forced to read Wuthering Heights — and all the fence-sitting cowards in the GOP, hopefully for the final time, applauded how presidential he sounded and immediately forgot his sins.
And just like every other time, a couple days later he spoke off the cuff and immediately set a match to all that good will, offered out of political convenience though it was.
In this case obviously we’re referring to the DC riots, in which a bunch of Trump supporters attacked the police and pushed their way into the Capitol Building. At first we saw their smiling faces on social media as they proudly committed federal crimes like looting and trespassing — but as more news came out over the next few days it became clear this was much worse than anyone on the outside realized.
Five people died, one of which was a police officer who died from his injuries. Some of these extremists were armed. At least one brought zip ties into the building — you know, like the kind kidnappers use. At least TWO explosive devices were found and detonated by police.
We’re going to say that last one again, THEY HAD BOMBS. This wasn’t a protest. This was insurrection. This was domestic terrorism.
Many are holding Trump personally responsible, including Congress where they’ve drawn up articles of impeachment — yes, again. How is he responsible?
Well, first there’s the fact he’s been telling his supporters for years he was the only one whose word they could trust; the press are “fake news” and the “enemy of the people.” So then the last few weeks when he claimed over and over and over again in flagged tweets that he actually won the election and that it was being stolen from him by some grand conspiracy between Democrats AND other Republicans, he turned his most fervent supporters into self-styled freedom fighters.
On the day in question? Well, those supporters didn’t meet up in DC on a whim. Trump knowingly scheduled a “Save America Rally” a short walk from the Capitol Building on January 6, the day the election was to be certified by Congress. Supporters were told they were coming to show up and “fight” for their president. That morning he and his toadies whipped the crowd into a fervor. Rudy Giuliani told them we should have “trial by combat.”
Then 45 himself took the stage. He spoke for nearly an hour. He repeated his lies about winning the election, painted a picture of the conspiracy theory, mentioned his political enemies by name. Then he told them to go face Congress. He said:
“And after this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down — We’re going to walk down. Anyone you want, but I think right here, we’re going to walk down to the Capitol — and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
BTW, he didn’t go with them. He went back to bed and watched on TV. According to some White House sources he was happy about the footage he saw. Early reporting seems to indicate it was Mike Pence bucking the chain of command to call in the National Guard because Trump refused to.
What did he do to stop the violence? To stop the banana republic-style coup? He told his supporters they were “special” and “loved” and to “go in peace.” You know, because you have to show strength.
Does he take any responsibility for any of this? OF COURSE NOT!
Because here’s what he said when asked about it on Tuesday morning. Regarding his words to his supporters that morning, he responded:
“If you read my speech… people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.”
He also accused (unnamed) others of the charges he is facing:
“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.”
Really?? Implying the Capitol riots weren’t? Just wow. Even four years in, freakin’ jaw-dropping.
Ordinarily we’d expect the next moment in this predictable sequence of events to be his cronies going on Fox News and OANN and telling viewers even if he incited a riot, that’s not a crime, followed by him eventually confessing he did it but it was a good thing. But with eight days left in his presidency? We have no idea what’s going to happen next. And that has us more worried than ever.
If the Democrats and, yes, some Republicans in Congress have their way, a speedy impeachment trial will get him out the door all the faster. Trump actually responded to this new impeachment over his (need we even say alleged?) incitement of insurrection, implying it was going to cause the real danger:
“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.”
Um… Is he implying he doesn’t want violence but that an impeachment will cause it among his followers? He’s certainly not telling his followers to stand down — but frankly it kinds of sounds like he’s telling them to stand by.
He’s making veiled threats like a mob boss here! Something bad could happen… Hell, one could interpret this as CONTINUING to incite insurrection!
See Trump’s full comments (below):
[Image via WENN/Instar/CNN/YouTube.]