KEY POINTS

  • Trump condemned the siege at the Capitol that killed four civilians and one police officer 
  • He claimed his supporters do not engage in political violence
  • The video came hours after the House voted to impeach Trump a second time

President Donald Trump on Wednesday condemned the violence that occurred when thousands of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, forcing lawmakers and staff to hunker down as belligerent mobs trashed and defiled the offices of lawmakers.

The Jan. 6 siege led to the deaths of five people, including a police officer, and the fear that more acts of violence could occur before and during the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump released a five-minute, pre-recorded video in which he addressed the mob violence and claimed his “true supporters” would never engage in political violence. 

“I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week, violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country, and no place in our movement,” Trump said in the video. “No true supporter of mine could truly endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement. You are attacking it and you are attacking our country.” 

"Whether you are on the right or on the left, a Democrat or a Republican, there is never a justification for violence. No excuses, no exceptions. America is a nation of laws. Those who engaged in the attacks last week will be brought to justice," Trump continued.

Video recordings of last week's insurrection show mobs loyal to Trump assaulting law enforcement officers and breaking down doors and windows hours after the president shared conspiracy theories and baseless claims of voter fraud. During a rally before the bloody breach, Trump encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight.” In the aftermath of the insurrection, he posted a video telling rioters to “go home” and that “we love you.”

In the new video, though, the president did not take responsibility for his involvement in the violence. He also expressed no regret for his actions that led to the protest. 

The five-minute recording came hours after the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, making him the first president to be impeached twice. He had previously been impeached on Dec. 18, 2019, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

The House approved the article of impeachment in a 232-197 vote. All Democrats backed the measure, while 10 members of the Republican party voted in favor of the impeachment. 

“He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government,” the impeachment legislation stated. “He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to manifest injury of the people of the United States.”

US President Donald Trump leaves for a trip to Texas, breaking his isolation in the White House US President Donald Trump leaves for a trip to Texas, breaking his isolation in the White House Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski