A week after President Trump rallied a crowd of his supporters—some of whom went on to storm the US Capitol—with unfounded claims of election fraud and a declaration that, “You’ll never take back our country with weakness," he is urging calm amid reports of more protests as President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration approaches. "There must be no violence, no lawbreaking, and no vandalism of any kind," Trump said in a statement to Fox News before he was impeached Wednesday. The president’s comments were later sent via text—Trump has been booted from Twitter—to his supporters, per the New York Times, and provided to the House of Representatives as they debated an article of impeachment that accuses Trump of "incitement of insurrection" in connection to the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, DC, which resulted in at least five deaths.
Trump, in his statement, said that lawlessness and violence "is not what I stand for and it is not what America stands for. I call on all Americans to help ease tensions and calm tensions." In a Tuesday visit to the US-Mexico border, Trump said his Jan. 6 speech to supporters was “totally appropriate” and denied any responsibility for inciting the attack on the Capitol, per ABC7. Instead, he said, Democrats' push to impeach him a second time is "causing tremendous anger and division." Several Republicans have spoken out against Trump in the wake of the violence in Washington. As the House debated impeachment on Wednesday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy also assigned blame to the president. Trump must "accept his share of responsibility. Quell the brewing unrest. And ensure President-elect Biden is able to successfully start his term,” said the California Republican, who opposes impeachment and voted to overturn the results of the presidential election, per the Times. (Read more insurrection stories.)