US lawmakers approve resolution calling to remove Trump
The vote will unlikely sway Vice President Mike Pence who already said he does not support invoking the 25th Amendment.
The US House of Representatives voted almost along party lines to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove President Donald Trump from office just eight days before his term ends on January 20.
The vote amounts to a symbolic rebuke as Pence said earlier that he does not support the resolution.
Democrats are now swiftly moving towards impeaching Trump with a single charge: “Incitement of insurrection” over the violent siege of the US Capitol. Several Republicans have said they will vote to impeach him.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s coverage of US politics. This is Joseph Stepansky, Mersiha Gadzo, Ted Regencia and Virginia Pietromarchi. These were the updates:
Republicans backing Trump impeachment
A growing number of Republican lawmakers have said they will vote to impeach Trump. Here are some of them:
Liz Cheney: House Republican, Cheney was the most senior member of her party to vote against efforts to challenge the January 6 Electoral College results confirming Trump’s loss.
Adam Kinzinger: A frequent Trump critic, Kinzinger said Trump broke his oath of office by inciting his supporters to insurrection and used his position to attack the legislative branch of government.
John Katko: Katko was the first member of the House Republican caucus to say he would vote for impeachment.
Fred Upton: Upton in November said Trump had shown no proof of his claims that his election defeat was the result of widespread fraud.
Jaime Herrera Beutler: Herrera Beutler is a moderate from the state of Washington. “The president’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have,” she said in a statement.
Timeline: the speech that ‘incited’ Capitol violence
Parler: Amazon defends booting messaging app over violent content
Amazon urged a judge not to order the company to restore web-hosting service to Parler, saying the conservative social media platform failed to police violent content before and after the Capitol riot.
Amazon Web Services suspended service for Parler after it was used by supporters of President Donald Trump to organize the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week. Parler sued, asking a federal judge in Seattle to order AWS to reinstate its web-hosting immediately. Amazon objected to the move late Tuesday.
Read the full story here.
Impeachment process, how does it work?
YouTube suspends Trump channel, removes video
Google-owned YouTube suspended Trump’s channel and removed a video for violating its policy against inciting violence – the latest sanction by the social media giant against the US president.
“In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J Trump’s channel for violating our policies,” YouTube said in a statement.
The channel is now “temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a minimum of 7 days”, it said.
The video sharing website is the latest in joining a chorus of online platforms distancing, and taking action against, those who encouraged or engaged in last week’s deadly violence on the US Capitol by the president’s supporters.
Read the full story here.
Pelosi: Trump engaged in ‘treasonous activity’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of “treasonous activity” as she prepares for impeachment.
“I heard the previous speaker say that we are objecting to the president because we don’t like the way he executes his duties,” said Pelosi.
“No, we don’t like it at all. Acts of sedition, incitement to insurrection, treasonous activity. And if you are associating yourself with that as the proper execution of the president’s duties, you are associating yourself with sedition and treason,” she added.
“Incitement to insurrection. Treasonous activity. If you are associating yourself with that as the proper execution of the president's duties, you are associating yourself with sedition and treason." Speaker Pelosi pic.twitter.com/q2os2vlOjs
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) January 13, 2021
Trump supporter commits suicide after arrest
A supporter of Trump who participated in the US Capitol riot has killed himself, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Christopher Georgia, 53, who is from the state of Georgia died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest, and his body was found in the basement of a home.
Washington, DC police had arrested Georgia and charged him with “unlawful entry of public property” and violating the US capital’s curfew in connection with last week’s deadly attack of Congress by Trump supporters.
Three Republican House members accused of links to US Capitol rioters
Far-right Republican operative, Ali Alexander, one of of the organisers of the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, claimed that he received help in carrying out the event from three members of the House of Representatives.
According to reports by several US news media, Alexander was quoted as saying that Republican Rep Andy Biggs of Arizona helped him in the event.
He was also quoted as saying that Arizona Rep Paul Gosar and Alabama Rep Mo Brooks also participated in organising the event.
Biggs has denied the allegations, while Brooks said he is not making any apology “for doing my absolute best to inspire patriotic Americans to not give up on our country.”
Gosar has yet to address the controversy. But in a December rally at the Arizona state capitol, Alexander was quoted as saying that Gosar has been the “spirit animal” of his movement.
House members approve resolution urging VP Pence to invoke 25th Amendment removing Trump from office
The Democratic-led US House of Representatives has officially approved a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, and declare Trump “unfit” for office just eight days before his term ends on January 20.
The US House members voted almost along party line, 223-205 to approve the resolution, but it is unlikely to sway Pence, who has already indicated earlier on Tuesday that he is not in favour of removing Trump.
All Democratic members voted unanimously for the resolution. At least one Republican voted to support the Democratic-backed move.
The vote late on Tuesday also sets the stage for a separate vote on Wednesday on the impeachment of Trump, who is accused of inciting insurrection, following the attack by his supporters of the The US Capitol on January 6.
Ex-deputy attorney general says House resolution on 25th Amendment ‘futile exercise’
Bruce Fein, a former US deputy attorney general, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday that while there’s “utility” in invoking the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution to remove Trump, it may be a “futile exercise”.
Fein said that with Vice President Mike Pence declaring that he will not support removing Trump through the 25th Amendment option, the House of Representatives should immediately proceed to the impeachment resolution.
Fein added that with Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, indicating his support for impeachment, it is possible for the Senate to convict Trump with 67 votes.
Pelosi: Capitol attack would ‘forever stain our nation’s history’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the January 6 attack by supporters of Trump on Congress would “forever stain” US history.
Pelosi said the “facts are clear” that Trump bears responsibility for inciting his supporters to carry out the violent incident, which left five people dead.
She said that the president “fanned the flames” and “he and his family cheered and celebrated the desecration of the Capitol.”
“The president’s actions demonstrate his absolute inability to discharge the most basic functions and duties of his office. The president must be removed from office immediately,” she said, urging other Republicans to support the move.
Speaker Pelosi appoints impeachment managers
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed Congressman Jamie Raskin, a former professor in constitutional law, to lead the second impeachment of Trump.
Also appointed as impeachment managers were Representatives Diana DeGette, David Cicilline, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Stacey Plastkett, Joe Neguse and Madeleine Dean.
Some Republicans defiant as Congress installs new security measures
Some Republican members of the House of Representatives are facing off with the Capitol Police, after Congress installed new metal detectors outside the chamber doors.
Officers temporarily blocked entry to Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, after she set off the detectors and then refused request to search her purse.
Boebert, a gun-rights activist, had previously bragged about her desire to carry a weapon on Capitol Hill.
Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia was also defiant and yelled at journalists after setting off the metal detector.
Republican Congressman Steve Stivers of Ohio also reportedly told the police officers at the door that he believes the detectors are “unconstitutional.”
Just had to go through a metal detector before entering the House floor. Some colleagues are frustrated (guess which ones) by this requirement. Now they know how HS students in my district feel. Suck it up buttercups. Y’all brought this on yourselves.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) January 13, 2021
VP Pence rejects invoking 25th Amendment to oust Trump
US Vice President Mike Pence has told House leaders he does not support invoking the 25th Amendment process to remove Donald Trump, all but guaranteeing an imminent impeachment vote against the president.
“With just eight days left in the President’s term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment,” Pence wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, referring to the process that would declare Trump unable to fulfill his duties and install Pence as acting president for the remainder of the term.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” he said, hours before the House was to vote on a measure calling on him to initiate the 25th Amendment process or risk an impeachment vote against Trump.
Republican Congressman says he will vote to impeach Trump
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger says he plans to vote in favour of impeaching Trump.
Kinzinger said in a statement that “there is no doubt … that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection”.
Kinzinger is the third Republican in the House of Representatives to announce plans to join Democrats in voting for impeachment, Reuters news agency said.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) January 12, 2021
US House resolution on 25th Amendment will likely pass, but ‘has no teeth’
Al Jazeera’s Heidi Zhou-Castro, reporting from Capitol Hill in Washington, DC said it is likely that the resolution calling for US Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment will pass this evening, however, it still “has no teeth”.
“It is non-binding and it’s still up to Pence whether or not to take that action and there has been zero indication that he would do so,” she said.
Democrats have another option tomorrow when the full House floor is likely to vote on that resolution, which charges Trump with one article of impeachment and accuses him of inciting against the US government, Zhou-Castro said.
“That, too, is expected to pass with more than 200 House Democrats co-sponsoring … and perhaps up to a dozen Republicans in the House who are open to it, as well.”
Republican Cheney says she will vote to impeach Trump
Republican Representative Liz Cheney, who holds a high-ranking position in Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, said she will vote to impeach Trump.
The Wyoming congresswoman said in a statement that Trump “summoned” the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”
“Everything that followed was his doing,” she said.
She added that Trump could have immediately intervened to stop his supporters, but he did not.
Cheney is a daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney.
Republican congressman Katko says he will vote to impeach Trump
US Republican Representative John Katko has said he will vote to impeach Trump, becoming the first Republican House member to join Democrats in their bid to impeach the president, according to the Syracuse.com news website, which cited a Katko statement.
Katko said Trump “encouraged” insurrection.
In rare joint message, top US military leaders condemn riot
The US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the uniformed leaders of the different military branches, have put out a rare message to service members saying the violent riots last week were an assault on America’s constitutional process and against the law.
“The violent riot in Washington DC on January 6, 2021 was a direct assault on the US Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process,” the seven generals and one admiral said in an internal memo to troops, adding that the military remained committed to protecting and defending the Constitution.
“The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection,” the memo, seen by the Reuters news agency, said.
Read the full story here.
‘More must be done’ on security in days ahead, top lawmakers say
Following a briefing by the FBI, six top legislators on the House of Representatives committees on homeland security, justice, oversight, intelligence and the armed services have said in statement that they are worried about safety in the near future.
“Based on today’s briefing, we have grave concerns about ongoing and violent threats to our democracy. It is clear that more must be done to preempt, penetrate, and prevent deadly and seditious assaults by domestic violent extremists in the days ahead,” wrote the lawmakers, including Judiciary Chair Jerrod Nadler and Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff.
McConnell believes Trump committed impeachable offences: New York Times
US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has told associates he believes Trump has committed impeachable offences and he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, the New York Times has reported, citing people familiar with his thinking.
House lawmakers to be screened when entering House Chamber
In a security policy shift, House legislators are to undergo security screening when entering the House Chamber.
According to a notice by Timothy P Blodgett, the acting Sergeant at Arms, “magnetometers are being placed at selected entrances to the Chamber”.
The notice reminded members that “firearms are restricted to a Member’s Office” and that members are required to wear masks “when entering and while in the Chamber”.
Walmart suspends contributions to lawmakers who opposed Biden certification
Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer has joined other major companies in indefinitely suspending donations to legislators who voted against President-elect Joe Biden’s election certification.
The Arkansas-based company said in light of last week’s attack on the Capitol, its “political action committee is indefinitely suspending contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the lawful certification of state electoral college votes”.
Biden to tap Obama-era regulator Gensler to lead SEC: Sources
Gary Gensler, a leading financial regulator under the administration of US President Barack Obama, is expected to be named chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by President-elect Joe Biden in coming days, two sources familiar with the matter have told the Reuters news agency.
Gensler was chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2009 to 2014, and since November has led Biden’s transition planning for financial industry oversight.
Read more here.
US House Republican leaders won’t push members to vote against impeachment: Aide
US House Republican leaders have decided not to lobby their members against voting to impeach Trump, two House leadership aides have told Reuters, confirming a report in the New York Times.
Republican leaders will not pressure members to vote against either a resolution expected on the floor Tuesday evening that calls for starting the Constitution’s 25th amendment process of removing the president, or an impeachment resolution expected in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the aides said.
“Both are votes of conscience,” one said.
FBI says it briefed law enforcement within an hour after discovering online information
The FBI says it briefed law enforcement within an hour after discovering online warning about “war” and storming US Capitol.
FBI, DOJ officials outline massive criminal investigation
Acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin and FBI Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono have said they have opened more than 170 cases on individuals involved in the assault.
“Just the gamut of cases and criminal conduct we’re looking at is really mind blowing,” Sherwin said at a news briefing in Washington.
Sherwin said federal authorities have already made more than 70 arrests across the country in cities like Dallas, Nashville, Cleveland and Jacksonville and expect hundreds more to be charged.
“This is only the beginning,” Sherwin said.
D’Antuono, who heads the FBI’s Washington field office, said the FBI is combing through more than 100,000 pieces of digital media to identify people in the crowd that attacked the Capitol.
“We will be knocking on your door if we find out you were involved in the activities at the Capitol,” he said.
Sherwin said the Department of Justice has assembled a “strike force” of top US prosecutors and is treating the investigation “like a significant international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation”.
Trump says ‘time for peace and for calm’
Trump has urged “peace” and “calm” in the US after denying responsibility for a mob attack on Congress by his supporters.
“Now is the time for our nation to heal and it is time for peace and for calm,” Trump said during a visit to Alamo, Texas.
Justice Dept expects sedition, conspiracy cases
Sedition and conspiracy are expected to be among the charges facing some of the participants in last week’s attack on the Capitol, the Justice Department has said.
Trump issues threat to Biden over 25th Amendment
Speaking from the Mexico border wall in Alamo, Texas, Trump said that discussion of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office early “is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration”.
Without detailing what the repercussions may be, Trump added, “As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for.”
He then railed against House Democrats’ effort to move forward on impeachment, calling it a “hoax” and “a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger, and division and pain.
“Far greater than most people will ever understand. Which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time.”
Read more here.
Justice Dept expects ‘hundreds’ of criminal cases
US acting Attorney Michael Sherwin has said 70 cases have already been charged, and he expected that would grow into the hundreds.
He said the Justice Department is looking at everything from simple trespass to theft of mail to felony murder and even civil rights investigations.
Read more here.
FBI opens 160 cases related to storming of Capitol
The FBI has opened 160 case files in its investigation of the storming of the Capitol, the head of the agency’s Washington field office has said.
The assistant director in charge of the field office, Steven D’Antuono, told a media briefing that the FBI had received 100,000 videos and pictures as tips.
He added that the FBI had intelligence about possible violence before the riots.
Trump says 25th Amendment is of ‘zero risk’ to him
Addressing supporters at the Mexico border wall in Alamo, Texas, Trump said he is not worried about the 25th Amendment, allowing his cabinet to remove him from office, as it is of “zero risk” to him.
He was speaking on the eve of a vote in Congress that could see him become the first US president to be impeached twice.
BREAKING: Trump is addressing supporters at the Mexico border wall in Texas.
The President is speaking on the eve of a vote in Congress that could see him become the first US president to be impeached twice.
Read More: https://t.co/NbZtVOPird https://t.co/ivMkTzsSxY
— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) January 12, 2021
US Chamber CEO says Trump undermined US democratic institutions
US Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue has called Trump’s actions last week in connection with rioting at the Capitol “absolutely unacceptable and completely inexcusable”.
Donohue told a news conference that Trump “undermined our democratic institutions and ideals” and it was up to Vice President Mike Pence, the Cabinet and Congress to decide whether to try to remove Trump early through the Constitution’s 25th Amendment or impeachment proceedings.
US State Dept cancels UN envoy’s trip to Taiwan
The cancellation of all travel by the US State Department this week includes a planned visit to Taiwan by Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, a State Department spokesperson has said.
Craft had been due to visit Taiwan from Wednesday to Friday, prompting China to warn that Washington was playing with fire.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier said that all travel this week had been cancelled, including a trip by him to Europe, as part of the transition to the incoming Biden administration.
Accountability needed for attackers and law enforcement: US official
People are going to have to be held accountable both in the law enforcement community and in the security community for the attack on Capitol Hill, the US counterintelligence chief has said.
Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center William Evanina was speaking at a Washington Post event.
Vice President Pence promises a ‘seamless transition’
Vice President Pence has told governors that “our time” is coming to an end, and promised them a “seamless transition”.
Luxembourg, EU snub Pompeo in final trip, diplomats say
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cancelled his Europe trip at the last minute after Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet him, European diplomats and other people familiar with the matter have said.
Pompeo had originally planned to go to Luxembourg, but that leg of the trip was scrapped, one diplomatic source said, after officials there showed reluctance to grant him appointments, the Reuters news agency reported.
The Brussels leg, however, was still on until the last minute.
But Pompeo’s final visit schedule in Brussels was not going to involve any meetings with the EU or any public events at NATO. A third diplomatic source said allies were “embarrassed” by Pompeo after the violence in Washington, DC last week.
Luxembourg’s foreign ministry confirmed the previously planned stop there was now cancelled, but declined to give further details. The EU declined to comment.
GoFundMe bans fundraisers for travel to potentially violent political events
Crowdfunding service GoFundMe has said it will no longer allow people to raise money for travel to a political event where there is a risk of violence by the attendees.
“Over the last several months and leading up to the rally and subsequent violence at the Capitol on January 6, GoFundMe removed several fundraisers attempting to challenge the legitimate results of the 2020 election,” the company said in a statement.
The company will continue to remove fundraisers that attempt to “spread misinformation about the election, promote conspiracy theories and contribute to or participate in attacks on US democracy”, according to the statement.
Senate minority leader says Trump should be removed
New York Senator Chuck Schumer says Trump “should not be in office one day longer”.
He calls on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to join him to call back the US Senate to convict Trump in a Senate impeachment trial.
Schumer, speaking in New York City says there are continued threats to the US federal government and that those who breached the US Capitol building should be immediately added to the no-fly list, barring them from flying on commercial aircraft.
Chevron CEO says reviewing political donations
Chevron is reviewing political donations after last week’s invasion of the Capitol, Chief Executive Mike Wirth has said while speaking at the Reuters Next conference.
The business backlash continues to grow as several companies have said they would suspend or review some political donations, including Marriott International Inc, Archer Daniels Midland Co and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
“I specifically asked my team to take a look at the events of last week and make sure those are brought into account as we make our decisions going forward,” Wirth said.
About two-thirds of Chevron’s contributions went to Republicans and one-third to Democrats in the most recent election cycle, Wirth said.
Pompeo’s trip to Brussels cancelled: US State Department
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cancelled his final foreign trip scheduled this week as Trump faces a second impeachment vote.
Pompeo will no longer travel to Belgium on Wednesday to assist “a smooth and orderly transition process,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
FBI, before Capitol siege, warned ‘extremists’ ready for ‘war’: Washington Post
An FBI office in Virginia had issued an internal warning the day before rioters stormed the Capitol that “extremists” were planning to come to Washington and were talking of “war”, the Washington Post has reported.
“An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled’,” the document obtained by the Post said.
“Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”
The warning directly contradicts statements from the Justice Department and FBI officials that they had no intelligence to suggest a storming of the Capitol.
The Post says the memo described how people had been sharing maps of the Capitol’s tunnels and discussing rallying points to meet up to travel to Washington.
Third US legislator tests positive for COVID-19 after Capitol storming
A third Democratic member of the US Congress has tested positive for COVID-19 and lashed out at Republicans who refused to wear masks while legislators were sheltering from the pro-Trump mob last week.
“After narrowly escaping a violent mob incited by [Trump] to attack the Capitol and its occupants, I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress,” Representative Brad Schneider of Illinois said in a statement.
“Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask… even when politely asked by their colleagues,” Schneider said.
“I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff.”
US House of Representatives to move quickly to impeach Trump
Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic legislators in the US House of Representatives are pushing Republicans to take a side – for or against Trump.
Alarmed by Trump’s incitement of mob violence on January 6, House Speaker Pelosi said on Monday that the president poses an “imminent threat” to the nation and “must be removed from office immediately”.
Read more here.
Pompeo says al-Qaeda’s ‘new home base’ is Iran with no evidence
Pompeo has said al-Qaeda has a new home base in Iran, though he offered no evidence in a speech in Washington, DC, a claim Iran immediately rebuffed.
Pompeo said al-Qaeda had centralised its leadership inside Tehran and that deputies of leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri are currently there.
Read more about it here.
Authorities release photo of suspect in murder of police officer
Federal law enforcement authorities have released the photo of a suspect wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, Senator Bill Cassidy has said on Twitter.
Cassidy, a Republican, posted a photo of an older bearded man wearing a blue knit cap with the letters “CFD” and urged anyone who may recognise him to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation with more information.
Earlier on Tuesday, the FBI in New York City arrested another person in connection with the riots.
An FBI spokeswoman said agents arrested Aaron Mostofsky, whom multiple news outlets identified as the son of New York Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Mostofsky.
Visa temporarily suspends all political donations
Visa Inc has said its political action committee had temporarily suspended all donations last week as it reviews its candidate contribution guidelines.
A host of businesses have said they would cut off campaign contributions to those who voted last week to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“Visa does not tolerate the use of our network and products for illegal activity. We are vigilant in our efforts to deter illegal activity on our network, and we require our affiliate banks to review their merchants’ compliance with our standards,” Visa said in an email.
It’s the latest political backlash by a corporation since the attack on the US Capitol on January 6.
Schumer wants Capitol invaders on no-fly list
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the FBI to add anyone identified breaching the Capitol during last week’s riot to the federal no-fly list.
Schumer sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, saying the attack was “domestic terrorism” and those who stormed the Capitol should qualify as “insurrectionists for the No-Fly List”.
Schumer told Wray that they must also be fully prosecuted to the full extent of federal law. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press.
Trump says Big Tech is dividing the country
Trump has blamed Big Tech companies for dividing the country days after Twitter and Facebook banned him on their platforms for encouraging the attack on the US Capitol building.
“I think that Big Tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country, and I believe it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them. They’re dividing and divisive,” Trump told reporters at the start of a trip to Texas.
He said the companies had made a “terrible mistake” and that there is a “counter move” to the actions Big Tech platforms have taken without being specific about what that means.
Trump: ‘People thought that what I said was totally appropriate’
President Trump, in more comments to reporters on Monday, said “people thought” his speech to supporters before the US Capitol riot, which critics allege incited the ensuing violence, “was totally appropriate”.
“If you read my speech and many people have done it. And I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television. It’s been analysed. And people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump said at Joint Base Andrews as he prepared to travel to Texas.
Trump made the comment when asked if he felt he bore any responsibility for the Capitol Hill riot, which left five dead. Trump addressed supporters before the riot, urging them to march on the Capitol has Congress met to certify the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. He later released a video message telling the rioters to go home, saying “we love you” and repeating his baseless claim that the election was “stolen”.
Trump calls move to impeach ‘absolutely ridiculous’
President Trump, speaking to reporters for the first time since his supporters breached the US Capitol last week, decried House Democrats move to impeach him as “absolutely ridiculous”.
The president said there was a “tremendous anger” over the move, which could happen as soon as Wednesday, called it a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics”, but added, “I want no violence”.
Trump spoke as he left the White House for a trip to the border wall in Alamo, Texas.
Belichick will not receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom
New England Patriots American Football coach Bill Belichick has said he will not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saying “remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”
In a delicately worded, one-paragraph statement, the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach did not say explicitly that he had turned down the offer from President Donald Trump, whom he has called a friend. Instead, Belichick explained, “the decision has been made not to move forward with the award” in the wake of last week’s deadly siege on the US Capitol.
A White House official said on Sunday, four days after the riots, that Trump would be awarding Belichick the nation’s highest civilian honor – part of a late flurry of presentations that also included golfers Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player and the late Babe Zaharias.
Although he describes himself as apolitical, Belichick has waded into politics on occasion. The architect of the Patriots dynasty wrote Trump a letter of support that the candidate read aloud the night before the 2016 election at a rally in New Hampshire, a bastion of the team’s fandom.
Second legislator in Capitol Hill lockdown tests positive for COVID-19
A second Democratic member of the House who was forced to go into lockdown during last week’s violent siege at the US Capitol has tested positive for COVID-19.
Representative Pramila Jayapal said she has tested positive and criticised Republican members of Congress who declined to wear a mask when it was offered to them during the lockdown.
“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them,” Jayapal said. “Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic.”
Jayapal’s statement came after Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey said Monday that she had tested positive for COVID-19. They were among dozens of legislators whisked to a secure location when pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. Over the weekend, the Capitol’s attending physician notified all legislators of possible virus exposure and urged them to be tested.
House to debate the 25th Amendment
Led by Democrats, the US House is set to hold a roll call vote calling on Vice President Mike Pence to gather the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office before his term ends on January 20.
Pence will have 24 hours to respond.
If that effort fails, House Democrats say they will move forward with impeachment for “incitement to insurrection”, setting the stage for proceedings to begin on Wednesday.
Read more about the 25th Amendment here.
Trump heads to Texas in first outing since the assault on the US Capitol
Trump is scheduled to visit the Texas-Mexico border to highlight the completion of more than 643 kilometres (400 miles) of a border wall.
The president is expected to speak about his accomplishments in curbing immigration to the US, in his first live event since his supporters attacked the US Capitol building on January 6 in an assault that left at least five people dead including one Capitol Police officer.
Vice President Pence and Trump met on Monday
Pence met with Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, a senior administration official tells the AP news agency.
The two men, in their first conversation since the assault on the White House, had a “good conversation” according to the official.
The officials said the president and vice president agreed to work for “the remainder of their term”.
Pence is under pressure from the US Congress to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office in the wake of the Capitol attack.