Donald Trump has dismissed suggestions he was personally responsible for the mob that stormed the US Capitol last week, arguing yesterday that his incendiary speech to supporters hours earlier had been “totally appropriate”.
In his first public appearance since the violence in Washington DC, the US president branded new attempts to impeach him “absolutely ridiculous” and “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics”.
Critics condemned his refusal to accept any blame, with Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate leader, saying the president in denying his role was deploying “a pathological technique used by the worst of dictators”.
Attempting to hang on in office for one more week before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, Mr Trump yesterday visited a section of US-Mexico border fencing in Texas in a trip designed to underscore his achievements in the White House.
“As far as this is concerned, we want no violence. Never violence. We want absolutely no violence,” Mr Trump said as he stopped to deliver a statement to reporters waiting at the White House as he left for Texas. He accused Democratic congressional leaders of “causing tremendous danger to our country”.
Later, when boarding a plane at Joint Base Andrews, Mr Trump was asked what his “personal responsibility” was for the clashes at the Capitol. He expressed no regrets in his response.
“So if you read my speech... it’s been analysed and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.”
During his speech later at the border, Mr Trump warned that the new impeachment drive was “very dangerous for the US especially at this tender time”.
In an apparent attempt to distance himself from the attacks on police by the pro-Trump mob last Wednesday, Mr Trump claimed support for law enforcement was “the foundation of the Maga agenda”, in reference to his 2016 election campaign slogan, Make America Great Again.
Mr Trump also warned Democrats against their drive to have him removed via the 25th Amendment.
“The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me, but it will come back to haunt Joe Biden. Be careful what you wish for,” he said.
Telegraph Media Group Limited