Former President Donald Trump insisted his controversial Jan.6 speech ahead of his supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol was “extremely calming,” although he urged rally attendees to “fight like a hell”.
Trump delivered a speech at a Jan.6 rally near the White House, claiming the 2020 election was “stolen” in favor of President Joe Biden. He encouraged his followers to march to the United States Capitol and “fight” for their country. Hundreds of Trump supporters violently attacked the Capitol with the apparent aim of preventing formal certification of victory by Biden’s Electoral College.
“I have nothing to hide [regarding January 6]. I wasn’t involved in this and if you look at my words and what I said in the speech, they were actually extremely calming, ”Trump said in a Friday night interview with Fox News.
The former president then defended the rioters who attacked the Capitol. He insisted it was only a “demonstration” and not an “insurgency,” as Democrats and some Republicans described the attack.
“The insurrection took place on November 3 , which was Election Day, ”Trump said.“ This [on January 6] was a demonstration, and many innocent people are injured. Many innocent people are injured. “
“It was an outright protest and people are being treated very, very unfairly,” he said. “Their rights are taken away from them.
Prior to the attack on Capitol Hill, Trump and his allies promoted the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election results were fraudulent. Some of the speakers, including Trump, used inflammatory language that critics say prompted the former president’s supporters to lead the attack on the legislature.
“And we are fighting. We are fighting like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you will have no more countries,” Trump said in his remarks on Jan.6.
Later in the speech, he urged the crowd to move towards the Capitol.
“We’re going to walk to Capitol Hill, and we’re going to cheer on our brave Senators, Congressmen, and women, and we’re probably not going to cheer some of them as much,” Trump said.
“Because you will never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong,” he added.
A week after the attack on Capitol Hill, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives. Ten Republicans voted with House Democrats in favor of impeachment, which alleged Trump instigated the aggression that disrupted the constitutional process of certifying Biden’s victory.
Then, in February, Trump was acquitted by the Senate, although the majority of senators vote in favor of the conviction. Seven GOP senators voted “guilty” along with all members of the Democratic Senate caucus. Although this was the most bipartisan impeachment and conviction vote against a U.S. president in history, it failed to meet the high constitutional threshold of a two-thirds majority required for a verdict of “guilty. ” success.
Although Trump and his allies continue to claim that the 2020 election was fraudulent, they have not provided any evidence to support this extraordinary claim. On the contrary, more than 60 election challenge lawsuits filed by the former president and his supporters have failed in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump and other Republicans have dismissed the lawsuits.
Meanwhile, audits and recounts in states across the country, including places where pro-Trump Republicans oversaw the election, have consistently reaffirmed Biden’s victory. Former Attorney General William Barr, who was widely regarded as one of Trump’s most loyal cabinet members, asked the Justice Department to investigate the fraud allegations. Barr then claimed in December 2020 that there was “no evidence” of fraud that would alter the election outcome.