Trump says ‘witch hunt’ impeachment is greater ‘danger’ to country than him

Donald Trump talks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, 12 January, 2021 (AP)
Donald Trump talks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, 12 January, 2021 (AP)

Donald Trump stopped to speak with reporters as he left the White House this morning, calling the impeachment attempt “ridiculous” and a “danger” to the country.

“We want absolutely no violence. And 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 president said to the assembled media.

“This impeachment is causing tremendous anger and you're doing it and it's really a terrible thing that they're doing,” he added, in his first public comments since the deadly assault on the Capitol.

“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. I want no violence,” Mr Trump concluded before heading across the South Lawn to Marine One.

On his arrival at Joint Base Andrews for his flight to Texas to inspect the border wall, the president was asked about his role in the violence at the Capitol.

He claimed his comments to a rally of his supporters prior to the violence were “totally appropriate”.

The president appears to refuse to accept any blame for supporters loyal to him rioting and storming Congress, showing no contrition for actions taken in his name. He blames continuing threats of violence on the actions of Congress and "big tech".

Five people died during the attack on the Capitol, including one member of the Capitol Police who was hit over the head with a fire extinguisher, AP reported.

One Trump supporter was shot by a police officer, and three others died due to medical emergencies.

Those loyal to the president have threatened further violence if Vice President Mike Pence were to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Mr Trump from office – though this now seems unlikely – and if the House of representatives moves forward with impeachment proceedings.

A resolution with one article of impeachment – incitement of insurrection – will come up for a vote on Wednesday. It is almost certain to pass, making Mr Trump the only president ever to be impeached twice.

Lawmakers were briefed about specific armed security threats against the Capitol, White House, and Supreme Court during a call late on Monday, The Hill reports.

There have also been warnings of similar attacks on all 50 state capital legislatures around the country in advance of the inauguration of Joe Biden.

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