President Donald Trump on Wednesday called for peace in the fractured nation he leads, one week after an anti-election protest escalated into a rampage of rioting inside the U.S. Capitol.
“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” Trump said in a statement posted on the White House website.
“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.”
Since Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have blocked Trump from directly communicating on social media as he has throughout his presidency, the message was tweeted by his son Eric Trump.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) January 13, 2021
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio read the statement on the House floor, according to The New York Times.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who opposed impeaching the president, said the state of the nation requires “immediate actions by President Trump.”
“Accept his share of responsibility. Quell the brewing unrest. And ensure President-elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term,” McCarthy said.
The White House pushed the message of rejecting violence amid unconfirmed reports that some kind of violence could take place in the days leading to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
“President Trump is asking all Americans to join with him in ensuring that there is an orderly and peaceful transition next week,” a senior Trump adviser told Fox News. “President Trump is also asking that Big Tech companies join with him in this effort.”
Speaking on a day when the House impeached Trump for the second time, the adviser said, “This is a critical time in our nation’s history and surely we can all come together to deliver this important message and not continue to play partisan politics.”
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers asked Trump to speak to the nation.
“Radical groups have posted videos, statements, and graphics calling for people to return to the Capitol to, once again, forcefully contest the presidential election results and disrupt our democratic process. We are deeply concerned that this dangerous propaganda, left unchecked, will lead to mass violence and put lives at risk. Further violent assaults on the Capitol or other democratic institutions will also undermine the peaceful transition of power that makes our great nation a beacon of democracy for the world,” they wrote in a letter to Trump.
“In times of crisis and unrest, the nation relies on its elected leaders to do everything in their power to keep the American people safe and restore the peace. As bipartisan Members of the Senate and House, we ask that you please address the nation and unequivocally denounce domestic terrorism, condemn harmful propaganda, urge anyone considering mobilizing to stay home, and affirmatively state that you are no way supportive of violent messages of any kind. We must, as one nation, stand up against extremism in all its forms,” they went on.
The letter was signed by Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Republican Rep. Tom Reed of New York and Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
Trump on Tuesday had spoken out against rioting.
“We believe in respecting America’s history and traditions, not tearing them down. We believe in the rule of law, not … rioting,” Trump said Tuesday during a visit to Texas to tour the border wall, according to a White House media pool report.
“Now is the time for our nation to heal,” he added.
Prior to leaving Washington on Tuesday, Trump had voiced concerns that bans against him and some supporters issued by Big Tech could exacerbate the nation’s problems, according to a White House transcript of his remarks.
“I think big tech has made a terrible mistake, and very, very bad for our country. And that’s leading others to do the same thing, and it causes a lot of problems and a lot of danger. Big mistake. They shouldn’t be doing it,” Trump said.
“But there’s always a countermove when they do that. I’ve never seen such anger as I see right now, and that’s a terrible thing. Terrible thing. And you have to always avoid violence,” Trump said.