Melania Trump says she was ‘disappointed and disheartened’ watching Capitol riots

First lady Melania Trump said she was “disappointed and disheartened” as she watched a chaotic scene unfold in Washington, D.C., last week as supporters of President Trump breached the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win. 

“I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week,” she said in a statement issued Monday morning. “I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me  from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda. This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain.” 

Trump suggested it is imperative the country “heal in a civil manner” following the incident, which has led to a discussion of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove her husband from office and calls for him to be impeached for a second time. 

“Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation’s Capitol,” she added. “Violence is never acceptable.” 

Following a rally on the White House Ellipse  on Wednesday morning, thousands of President Trump’s supporters marched on the Capitol and forced their way into the complex. 

During the rally, the president urged the crowd to go to the Capitol and display “strength.” 

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” he said

Photos and video taken at the scene show rioters attacking police officers, breaking windows and doors and asking where lawmakers are hiding. 

Once the rioters were inside the Capitol, President Trump released a video on social media asking the mob to “go home” but repeated unproven claims of an election “stolen” from him and told them “we love you.” 

The president was permanently banned from Twitter later in the week, with the social media company citing the risk of political violence stemming from his posts. 

Several deaths have been reported in connection with Wednesday’s riot, and federal law enforcement officials have since opened more than a dozen terrorism-related investigations. 

House Democrats are planning to introduce an article of impeachment against Trump for “inciting insurrection” against the government. Some lawmakers have said he should be impeached even after he leaves office, and barred from ever holding public office again. 

“It is inspiring to see that so many have found a passion and enthusiasm in participating in an election, but we must not allow that passion to turn to violence,” Melania Trump said. “Our path forward is to come together, find our commonalities, and be the kind and strong people that I know we are.”

As President Trump did in a White House video posted last Thursday evening, the first lady acknowledged his defeat in the 2020 election, though the president has declined to officially concede and said he will not attend Biden’s inauguration next week. 

“It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve as your First Lady. I want to thank the millions of Americans who supported my husband and me over the past 4 years and shown the incredible impact of the American spirit. I am grateful to you all for letting me serve you on platforms which are dear to me,” she said. “Most importantly, I ask for healing, grace, understanding, and peace for our great Nation.”

Stephanie Grisham, a longtime aide to first lady and former White House press secretary, resigned last week following rioting at the Capitol.

Updated at 8:00 a.m. 

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump 2020 presidential campaign Joe Biden Melania Trump Melania Trump Stephanie Grisham
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