President Donald Trump disavows any responsibility for his supporters' violent siege on US Capitol last week, saying his remarks at the time were "appropriate."
US President Donald Trump has disavowed any responsibility for his supporters' rampage on Capitol Hill last week, saying his remarks at the time were "totally appropriate."
"If you read my speech ... what I said was totally appropriate," he told reporters at Joint Base Andrews on Tuesday.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot a woman during the violence.
Three others died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.
Minutes before his supporters stormed the Capitol, Trump encouraged them to march on the seat of the nation's government where lawmakers were tallying Electoral College votes affirming President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
Social media clampdown 'catastrophic mistake'
Trump, for months, had also spread baseless claims that the November election was fraudulent, despite his own administration's findings to the contrary.
As rioters were still in the Capitol, Trump released a video seemingly excusing the events, saying of the rioters: "We love you. You're very special."
Trump also said social media giants like Twitter and Facebook have made a "catastrophic mistake" in banning him for his incendiary comments to a crowd before it invaded Congress.
"They are making a catastrophic mistake... They're dividing and divisive and they're showing something that I've been predicting for a long time," Trump said.
'I want no violence'
On impeachment, Trump said it's "a really terrible thing that they're doing."
"To continue on this path, I think it's causing tremendous danger to our country, and it's causing tremendous anger," he said.
"I want no violence.
The president spoke as he left for Texas to survey the border wall with Mexico. He took no questions.
Impeachment ahead, the House on Tuesday will first try to convince the vice president and Cabinet to act even more quickly to remove Trump from office, warning he is a threat to democracy in the remaining days of his presidency.
House lawmakers are reconvening at the Capitol for the first time since the deadly pro-Trump riot to approve a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare the president unable to serve. Pence is not expected to take any such action. The House would next move swiftly to impeach Trump.
Charge against Trump
Trump faces a single charge "incitement of insurrection" in the impeachment resolution that the House will begin debating Wednesday, a week before Biden is set to be inaugurated, January 20.
The unprecedented events, only the first US president to be twice impeached, are unfolding in a nation bracing for more unrest.
The FBI has warned ominously of potential armed protests in Washington and many states by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden's inauguration.
In a dark foreshadowing, the Washington Monument was closed to the public and the inauguration ceremony on the west steps of the Capitol will be off-limits to the public.