US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the effort to impeach him for allegedly inciting last week’s Capitol riot is causing “tremendous anger” and that he’s not to blame for the violence, the New York Post reports.
“The impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics. It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn as he left to tour the US-Mexico border.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to begin impeachment proceedings and potentially hold a vote on Wednesday.
Trump also told reporters he did not incite the riot. “They’ve analysed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence. And everybody to the tee thought it was totally appropriate.”
However, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that Trump previously told him that he does bear some responsibility for the riot and accepts that as a fact, a source confirmed to The Post.
Trump supporters ran amok inside the Capitol following a speech near the White House in which he urged thousands of fans to persuade legislators to overturn president-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Before Trump spoke, his attorney Rudy Giuliani had told the crowd a “trial by combat” was needed over the vote certification.
The rampage disrupted but did not prevent certification of Biden’s win.
Trump on Tuesday also lashed out at Big Tech companies that have censored him following the riot. He was permanently banned by Twitter and also banned from using Facebook or Instagram until at least after Biden’s inauguration.
“I think Big Tech has made a terrible mistake and very, very bad for our country. And that’s leading others to do the same thing. And it causes a lot of problems and a lot of danger. Big mistake. They shouldn’t be doing it,” Trump said before boarding Air Force One.
He added: “But there’s always a counter move when they do that. I’ve never seen such anger as I see right now and that’s a terrible thing, terrible thing. And you have to always avoid violence and we have tremendous support. We have support, probably like nobody’s ever seen before.”