Trump says impeachment attempt causing 'tremendous anger' but he wants 'no violence'

·3-min read

Donald Trump has warned that efforts to impeach him are causing "tremendous anger" - but insisted that he wants "no violence" in the run-up to Joe Biden's inauguration.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since last week's deadly riots at the US Capitol, Mr Trump declined to answer questions on whether he would resign.

His remarks came as he left for a trip to the border wall in Texas.

"We want absolutely no violence," said the president.

"On the impeachment, it's really a continuation of the greatest witch-hunt in the history of politics, it's ridiculous - it's absolutely ridiculous.

"The impeachment is causing tremendous anger... and it's really a terrible thing that they're doing," said Mr Trump.

"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."

Before he stepped on to helicopter Marine One, he reiterated: "I want no violence".

America is still reeling from last Wednesday, when Trump supporters forced their way into the US Capitol building in Washington and ran amok.

Five people died in the violence, with the president widely blamed for sparking the disorder by his comments to the crowd earlier in the day.

Efforts to impeach him for a second time began on Monday, when Democrats filed one article in the House of Representatives.

It accuses the president of incitement to insurrection and says he made statements that "encouraged and foreseeably resulted in" the riot at the Capitol.

Democrats are reconvening today to vote on a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to force Mr Trump out as an "unfit" leader.

Mr Pence is believed to be extremely unlikely to entertain the idea, so a vote on the impeachment could happen on Wednesday, and needs a simple majority to pass.

If it is voted through, it would move to the Senate for trial with senators acting as jurors.

However, Republicans control the Senate and would not take up the charges until 19 January at the earliest - Mr Trump's last day before Joe Biden's inauguration - so forcing him from power seems very unlikely.

According to the FBI, armed protests could take place in Washington and in all 50 state capital cities in the run-up to the inauguration.

One armed group has vowed that an uprising will take place if attempts are made to remove Mr Trump from office.

But Michael Plati, the US secret service agent in charge of the inauguration, said officials stand ready to make sure there are no further security breaches in Washington on the big day.

The National Guard will also have up to 15,000 personnel in the city, with 10,000 in place by this Saturday.

The Washington Monument has also been shut to the public and the ceremony on the steps of the Capitol will be off limits to the public.

Meanwhile, several police officers have been suspended and at least 10 others are under investigation over their alleged roles in the violence.