Exactly one week after supporters of Donald Trump overtook the U.S. Capitol, the president is asking all Americans to work together to “ease tensions” across the country.
Trump, who is permanently banned from Twitter and is currently unable to post on most other mainstream social media platforms, released his video statement through the official White House Twitter account.
The president first condemned violence from his own supporters, saying no true believer in his cause would turn to violence.
“Whether you are on the right or on the left, a Democrat or a Republican, there is never a justification for violence,” President Trump said. “There are no excuses, no exceptions; America is a nation of laws.”
Over 100 people have been charged in connection to last week’s events, and Trump pledged Wednesday that everyone “who engaged in the attacks last week will be brought to justice.” The president has still not taken responsibility for his role in the insurrection.
Trump made history Wednesday when he became the first-ever president to be impeached twice. The president is charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office. The House voted 232-197 in favor of the impeachment.
“Now I am asking everyone who has ever believed in our agenda to be thinking of ways to ease tensions and calm tempers and help to promote peace in our country,” Trump said soon after the House impeachment vote.
Trump made no reference to becoming the first president in the nation’s history to be impeached twice.
The president did acknowledge recent reports from federal law enforcement agencies who say violent protests are planned across all 50 states ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Without implicitly conceding the election, Trump said he has “directed federal agencies to use all necessary resources to maintain order” in order to “assure a transition can occur safely and without incident.”
Trump then turned his attention to what he called the “unprecedented assault on free speech,” seemingly in reference to his ban from social media platforms.
“These are tense and difficult times. The efforts to censor, cancel, and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong, and they are dangerous,” Trump said. “What is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another. All of us can choose by our actions to rise above the rancor and find common ground and shared purpose.”
The president wasn’t the only GOP lawmaker who faced swift backlash after last week’s insurrection. Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, both of whom continued to object to the Electoral College certification despite the siege, have had multiple big-name donors say they will no longer donate to the respective lawmakers. The day after the siege, Simon & Schuster announced it was pulling its planned book deal with Hawley in light of the Senator’s divisive rhetoric.