In a video released on Thursday, President Donald Trump condemned the “heinous attack” on the U.S. Capitol of the previous day in no uncertain terms, insisting that he wasted no time in “immediately” deploying the National Guard to deal with the shocking situation.
“Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem,” Trump said. “Emotions are high now, but tempers must be cooled and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America. My campaign rigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results. My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote.
“My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition,” he continued. “This moment now calls for healing and reconciliation.”
The president, who has been mercilessly criticized by Democrats and even some Republicans for inciting the attack, said Thursday that the challenges of the pandemic and the economy called for all Americans to get past their differences and see the bigger picture.
“It will require all of us working together. It will require a renewed emphasis on the civic values of patriotism, faith, charity, community and family,” he said. “To the citizens of our country, serving as your president has been the honor of a lifetime. To my incredible supporters I know you are disappointed, but our incredible journey is only just beginning.”
All told, it was about as un-Trump a statement as he’s made since arriving on the political scene, but okay.
As far as putting blame on him for the Capitol riot, many of his defenders say it’s a dead end road. On Fox News this week, civil rights attorney Leo Terrell accused colleague Geraldo Rivera of parroting “Democratic talking points” when the latter said that Trump had “blood on his hands.”
“All Donald Trump said yesterday was go down to the Capitol building,” Terrell argued. “I listened to the Democratic Kool-Aid, you heard Joe Biden today, Muriel Bowser, they are using this for Democratic talking points. All President Trump did, and he has the First Amendment right to express his disappointment. He did not order those individuals to go down there and destroy that Capitol.
“There were criminals who invaded the Capitol building and they should be prosecuted, but the Democrats sat on their hands during the summer when rioters destroyed Democratic cities,” Terrell continued. “For Joe Biden to play the race card today and say that there would have been different treatment for Black protestors, those are criminals. Criminals should be treated one way.”