President Trump called on Americans on Wednesday night not to engage in political violence, while he criticized Big Tech for “dangerous” censorship following the riot at the U.S. Capitol.
In a video address in which he never mentions his second impeachment by the House hours earlier, Mr. Trump said the Secret Service has briefed him on “potential threats” in the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol.
“I cannot emphasize that there must be no violence, no law breaking, and no vandalism of any kind,” Mr. Trump said from the Oval Office.
“No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence, no true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag, no true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans.”
Due to reported threats against Washington and against state capitals leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Mr. Trump said he has directed federal agencies “to use all necessary resources to maintain order.”
“In Washington D.C., we are bringing in thousands of National Guard members to secure the city and ensure that a transition can occur safely and without incident,” Mr. Trump said.
He said the “incursion of the U.S. Capitol struck at the very heart of our republic.”
“It angered and appalled millions of Americans across the political spectrum,” Mr. Trump said. “Like all of you, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the calamity at the Capitol last week. I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country, and no place in our movement. Making America Great Again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement and upholding our nation’s most sacred traditions and values.”
“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in, and everything, our movement stands for. If you do any of these things. You are not supporting our movement, you’re attacking it, and you are attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it,” Mr. Trump said.
The president said the past year, “made so difficult because of COVID-19,” saw “political violence spiral out of control.”
“We have seen too many riots too many mobs too many acts of intimidation and destruction. It must stop,” he said. “Whether you are on the right, or on the left, a Democrat or Republican, there is never a justification for violence. Now I am asking everyone who has ever believed in our agenda to be thinking of ways to ease tensions, calm tempers and help to promote peace in our country.”
Then he turned to what he called “the unprecedented assault on free speech” by social-media companies. Nearly all platforms have blacklisted Mr. Trump after he was accused of inciting the riot.
“These are tense and difficult times,” Mr. Trump said. “The efforts to censor cancel and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong. And they are dangerous, what is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another.”
“Today I am calling on all Americans to overcome the passions of the moment, and join together as one American people. Let us choose to move forward united for the good of our families, our communities and our country,” he said.
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