US President Donald Trump denied Tuesday that his speech last week to thousands of supporters, encouraging them to march on Congress, had anything to do with the deadly violence that broke out shortly after.
"They've analysed my speech in my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody to the tee just thought it was totally appropriate," Trump told reporters before flying out for a trip to Texas.
On January 6 he told a large crowd in Washington that the presidential election was stolen and that they should march on Congress and show "strength". The crowd broke into Congress and forced frightened lawmakers to abandon a ceremony putting the legal stamp on Democrat Joe Biden's election win.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot a woman during the violence. Three others died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.
As rioters were still in the Capitol, Trump released a video seemingly excusing the events, saying of the rioters: “We love you. You’re very special”.
Impeachment moves causing 'tremendous anger'
In his first remarks since the January 6 Capitol assault, Trump also blasted the US House plans to remove him from office.
Speaking to reporters as he boarded the Marine One aircraft at the White House for a trip to Texas, Trump called his scheduled impeachment in the House of Representatives on Wednesday a "continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics".
Trump said the prospect of impeachment was causing “tremendous anger” in the nation. But he said he wants “no violence”.
With only eight days left in his one-term administration, Trump finds himself alone, shunned by former supporters and US businesses, barred by social media, and now facing a second impeachment over his instigation of a riot against Congress.
His trip to Alamo, Texas, where he will tout claims of success in building a US-Mexican border wall, is his first live public appearance since he rallied thousands of followers on the National Mall to march on Congress.
Although this is not the same Alamo as the famous fortress in another part of Texas, the trip marks something of a last stand for the Republican.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)