The GOP thinks one line from Trump’s Jan. 6 speech will excuse the rest of it and everything else he did to incite the Capitol siege

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As House Republicans laid out their unsuccessful case against impeaching President Donald Trump on Wednesday, a number of GOP lawmakers pointed to one line from the president’s incendiary and dishonest January 6 speech as evidence he did not provoke the Capitol siege. 

Meanwhile, these same lawmakers ignored the rest of the speech and the inflammatory rhetoric Trump used, like telling his supporters “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” They failed to mention how Trump’s repetitive lies about the election over the course of 2020 and into the new year helped set the stage for the anger and violence that was on display at the US Capitol last Wednesday. 

During the speech, which was delivered outside of the White House, Trump said: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

House Republicans on Wednesday repeatedly pointed to this line in defense of Trump, emphasizing that the president used the word “peacefully.”

“If we impeached every politician who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of partisans, this Capitol would be deserted. That’s what the president did. That’s all he did. He specifically told the crowd to protest peacefully,” GOP Rep. Tom McClintock of California said during the debate over impeachment. 

But McClintock and other Republicans who cherrypicked the same line, including Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, did not mention the fact Trump during the speech also told his supporters to “fight like hell” to take back their country near the close of his long speech.

They ignored how the rest of Trump’s speech was an incitement to riot, and cancelled out the brief moment the president called for peaceful demonstrations. 

‘If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore’

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong,” Trump said during his speech. “We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Throughout the speech, Trump peppered his supporters with false claims about the election — including that he “won it by a landslide.”

“You will have an illegitimate president,” Trump falsely said of President-elect Joe Biden. “That is what you will have, and we can’t let that happen.”

The president explicitly urged his supports to march on the US Capitol, at one point suggesting he’d walk there with them as Congress went through the formal step of accepting the election results certified by the states. Trump ended up retreating to the White House to tweet as his supporters engaged in an attempted coup. 

The speech riled up Trump’s supporters, who subsequently swarmed the Capitol. They destroyed property and clashed with police. Five people were killed, including a police officer. The riot delayed, but ultimately failed to prevent, the certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory.

It was a violent insurrection in the heart of America’s democracy and against its democratic processes …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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