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

President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report 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 BidenBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit On The Money: Five takeaways on a surprisingly poor jobs report | GOP targets jobless aid after lackluster April gain 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 PelosiBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week Five takeaways on a surprisingly poor jobs report On The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July 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 CicillineRepublicans float support for antitrust reform after Trump Facebook ban upheld Washington keeps close eye as Apple antitrust fight goes to court Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube execs to testify at Senate hearing on algorithms | Five big players to watch in Big Tech's antitrust fight MORE (R.I.), Ted LieuTed W. LieuDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Lawmakers praise Biden for expected recognition of Armenian Genocide Overnight Defense: Top Pentagon nominee advances after Harris casts tie-breaker | Air Force general charged with sexual assault first to face court-martial | House passes bill to limit Saudi arms sales MORE (Calif.) and Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinSix House Democrats ask Garland to review case of lawyer placed under house arrest over Chevron suit Democrats seek to keep spotlight on Capitol siege Congress and the administration cannot play games with the Congressional Review Act 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.