Trump defends remarks before Capitol riots, calling them 'totally appropriate'

President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE on Tuesday said his remarks to supporters just before they stormed the U.S. Capitol last week were "totally appropriate," even as they have become the basis for an article of impeachment against him.

"They've analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate," Trump told reporters as he departed Joint Base Andrews to visit the border with Mexico.

He also sought to redirect focus from the deadly rioting to comments from other politicians made last summer during protests against racial injustice, saying they were "a real problem," though he did not elaborate.


The president has yet to acknowledge his own role in the violence last Wednesday at the Capitol, where pro-Trump rioters clashed with law enforcement and broke into the building. The ensuing mayhem led to multiple deaths, including that of a Capitol Police officer.

Thousands of the president's supporters descended on Washington, D.C., to protest the certification of the electoral results affirming Joe BidenJoe BidenKaty Perry and her 'Firework' close out inauguration TV special Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Tom Hanks: After years of 'troubling rancor,' Inauguration Day 'is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal' MORE as the next president after Trump spent weeks refusing to concede and insisting the election had been "stolen."


Trump held a rally at the Ellipse just outside the White House, where he whipped up supporters with unproven claims and urged them to march on the Capitol.

"We're going to walk down to the Capitol and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them," Trump told the crowd.

"Because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated." he continued. "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."

A short time later, rioters overwhelmed law enforcement and breached the Capitol complex. The vice president, lawmakers, staff and journalists were evacuated or ordered to shelter in place.

Video and firsthand accounts have since emerged of the mob assaulting police, breaking down doors and shattering windows and carrying zip ties. Dozens have been arrested in connection with the chaos, including one man who entered Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer placed on administrative leave: reports Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden taps career civil servants to acting posts at State, USAID, UN MORE's (D-Calif.) office.


Democrats and Republicans have widely condemned Trump's role in the riots. Two Republican senators have called for Trump to resign before his term ends on Jan. 20, and House Democrats are scheduled to vote Wednesday on impeaching him for a second time.

The article of impeachment, co-authored by Democratic Reps. David CicillineDavid CicillineWashington state rep joins list of Republicans voting to impeach Trump Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers MORE (R.I.), Ted LieuTed W. LieuHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis Washington state rep joins list of Republicans voting to impeach Trump Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment MORE (Calif.) and Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinInauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 This week: Tensions running high in Trump's final days Democratic lawmaker says 'assassination party' hunted for Pelosi during riot MORE (Md.), states that Trump engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”

— Updated at 11:04 a.m.