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Tucker Carlson: Trump 'recklessly encouraged' Capitol rioters

Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonCotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military Conservation deal puts additional hurdle in front of embattled mine proposal Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo MORE on Thursday admitted that President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE “recklessly encouraged,” the pro-Trump mob that overtook the Capitol on Wednesday, characterizing the incident as a “political protest” that “got out of hand.” 

During commentary on his show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the conservative host who has traditionally aligned himself with the sitting president said that Trump bore responsibility for the riots, but continued to aim criticism at Democrats and news outlets for labeling the events as “insurrection” and “domestic terrorism.”

“The Trump protests at the Capitol yesterday is already being used as a pretext for an unprecedented crackdown on civil liberties,” Carlson claimed. “Just in the last several hours we have heard people in positions of power and authority demand that those who support Donald Trump should no longer be allowed to publish books or use the internet or fly on airplanes.” 

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“What happened yesterday, they’re telling us, wasn’t simply that a political protest got out of hand after the president recklessly encouraged it,” he continued, before saying, “that is in fact what happened.” 

“But it’s not what they’re saying,” Carlson argued. “Instead they’re calling it domestic terrorism, CNN describes it as an insurrection.” 

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The remarks come as GOP and Democratic lawmakers have called on Trump to take responsibility for Wednesday’s chaos, which saw rioters break through windows and doors of the Capitol and ransack offices. 

Police announced Wednesday after many of the rioters dispersed that four people had died in the chaos, including one woman who was shot by a plainclothes Capitol Police officer. The three other fatalities occurred due to “separate medical emergencies.” 

Trump, who ahead of the riots Wednesday urged his supporters at a rally on the National Mall to march toward the Capitol and demand lawmakers not certify President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Saudis picked up drugs in Cairo used to kill Khashoggi: report Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting MORE as the winner, publicly for the first time Thursday said it was time for him to move on from the 2020 election in taped remarks shared on Twitter. 

"We have just been through an intense election and emotions are high," he said. "But now tempers must be cooled and calm restored.

"A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power," he added. "This moment calls for healing and reconciliation."

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The remarks were Trump’s first acknowledgment of electoral defeat, following weeks of claiming the election was “stolen” and advancing disputed claims of widespread voter fraud. 

Members of both parties have gone so far as to argue that Trump should be removed from office with less than two weeks until Biden’s inauguration.

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNew Mexico Democrat Stansbury sworn into Haaland's old seat Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust Overnight Health Care: Biden pleads for more people to get vaccinated | Harris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety | Novavax COVID-19 vaccine shown highly effective in trial MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday said that if Vice President Pence does not invoke the 25th Amendment, which would force Trump out of office, she would act immediately to impeach him for a second time. 

However, multiple news outlets reported Thursday that Pence opposes invoking the 25th Amendment, and both Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIn Congress, what goes on behind closed doors? Senate Judiciary begins investigation into DOJ lawmaker subpoenas America needs a stable Israeli government MORE (D-N.Y.) said Thursday evening that Pence had not returned their call to make the move.