U.S. President Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office while arriving back at the White House on December 31, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images
President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged the swarms of his supporters rioting in and around the U.S. Capitol to “go home now,” while continuing to falsely insist that his reelection was “stolen.”
The president’s remarks in a one-minute video on Twitter came after lawmakers on both sides of the aisle publicly urged him to speak out with force against the chaos caused by his base. Nearly 40 seconds of the video, however, served to sympathize with the rioters.
“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt,” Trump said. “We had an election that was stolen from us, it was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side.”
“But you have to go home now, we have to have peace,” he added. “We have to have peace. We have to have law and order we have to respect our great people in law and order.”
The brief clip came as the Capitol building, where a joint session of Congress was underway to count the Electoral College ballots and confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, was under lockdown due to the riots by Trump’s supporters.
Trump earlier in the day, at a rally outside the White House, had angrily lashed out at a wide array of his perceived political enemies, including “weak Republicans” who refused to aid in his efforts to overturn the election.
Shortly after Congress began the proceedings, presided over by Vice President Mike Pence, throngs of pro-Trump protesters migrated to the Capitol. The process came to an abrupt halt soon after; Pence and other officials were quickly evacuated.
“We don’t want anybody hurt,” Trump said in the video.
“It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us from me from you from our country. This was a fraudulent election. But we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace,” he said.
“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. I know how you feel. but go home and go home and peace.”
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