One week after a mob spurred by his rhetoric stormed the Capitol in a violent attempt to overturn the presidential election results, President Trump on Wednesday issued a statement calling on Americans to “ease tensions and calm tempers.”
The statement, released by the White House, came a week before the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Washington, and as security experts and law-enforcement officials have warned that a number of far-right groups have threatened demonstrations or attacks in the coming week.
“In lights of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” Mr. Trump said. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for.”
The president’s statement, first provided to Fox News, was released as the House of Representatives was debating an article of impeachment that accuses Mr. Trump of “incitement of insurrection.” A final vote is expected Wednesday afternoon or evening, and Democrats appear to have enough support to vote to impeach Mr. Trump for a second time.
Mr. Trump has been heavily criticized for his role in inciting last week’s violence, in which a number of his supporters stormed the Capitol and threatened the lives of members of Congress and his vice president after the president spoke at a rally beforehand.
On Tuesday, his first time answering questions from reporters since the event, Mr. Trump showed no contrition or regret for instigating the mob, saying his comments to his supporters were “totally appropriate.”