In a video on Twitter, US President Donald Trump called on protesters at the Washington DC Capitol to withdraw peacefully. Some of them had invaded the US parliamentary seat. Trump emphasized again in the video that the presidential elections in November were “stolen” and that they were fraudulent.
[Update 7.1.21, 00:55 Uhr] Twitter and Facebook have since deleted Trump’s videos because he again alleged electoral fraud in them, although he has no evidence and numerous courts and electoral authorities have confirmed the correctness of the election. The woman who was shot at the Capitol died from her injuries, according to ABC News and other US media reports.]
Twitter initially provided the tweet with the note, which has now been attached to many Trump posts, that the allegation of election fraud was controversial. The tweet could not be answered, retweeted or endorsed because of the risk of violence.
[Update 7.1.21, 0.14: Das soziale Netzwerk betonte in einem eigenen Tweet, es werde angesichts der aktuellen Situation in Washington D.C. Maßnahmen in Bezug auf Inhalte ergreifen, die gegen Twitter-Regeln verstoßen. Sogleich wurde in Antworten darauf gefordert, Trump zumindest vorübergehend von der Plattform zu verbannen.]
Trump also had the video with the call for peaceful retreat spread on Facebook, where it can be commented on, shared and given favoritism.
Twitter had started flagging tweets from the president in June before the 2020 presidential election. Twitter hid a Trump tweet behind a warning because it violated the ban on glorifying violence on the platform. At the same time, Facebook started checking Trump posts.
The protests of angry supporters of the elected US President Donald Trump degenerated on Wednesday and caused chaos and violence in the political center of the US. After a heated speech by the incumbent president, Trump supporters marched outside the Capitol to protest against the certification of the presidential election results. During the rush to the congress building, demonstrators broke into the interior of the Capitol. Both chambers of congress had to abruptly interrupt their sessions and the halls of parliament were cleared.
According to the AP news agency, a person was shot amid the protests. In what condition she is unclear, the exact details of the incident as well, reported AP. CNN news channel reported that a woman was being treated for gunshot wounds in the chest. The broadcaster NBC News also reported several injuries, citing security forces.
According to the White House, the National Guard should be deployed. “On the instructions of President Donald Trump, the National Guard is on the move with other federal protection services,” wrote Trump’s spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany on Twitter. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a curfew in the face of the protests – from early Wednesday evening (local time) to early Thursday morning.
The situation was initially confusing. Images from CNN showed protesters smashing windows and gaining access to the building. In another picture, a demonstrator posed in the vacated Senate Chamber with a raised fist in the chairman’s seat.
MPs who had escaped to safety spoke up on social media or by phone on national television. Republican MP Adam Kinzinger, for example, called the CNN incident “disgusting” and “absolutely despicable”.
The future US President Joe Biden said that it was not about protests at the Captiol, but about an uprising. He called on Trump to appear on television and call back protesters. “Mr President, step in.” Meanwhile, the area around the Capitol has been cordoned off and a curfew has been imposed on Washington.
No evidence of fraud
The House of Representatives and the Senate met in the Capitol on Wednesday noon (local time) to officially confirm the results of the presidential election in November. Thousands of Trump supporters flocked to the US capital to protest the certification of the election result.
Trump had lost the presidential election by a clear margin to his Democratic challenger Joe Biden. But he refuses to admit defeat. Trump claims he was robbed of victory by massive fraud. Neither he nor his lawyers provided any convincing evidence. Dozens of lawsuits from the Trump camp have so far been thrown out of courts, including the US Supreme Court.
Shortly before the start of the congressional session, Trump appeared in front of his supporters near the Capitol, reiterated his baseless election fraud allegations and called on his supporters to move to the Capitol. You should not put up with the “theft” of choice and “never give up”.
After the outbreak of violence, numerous politicians urged Trump to stop the riots immediately. Former White House communications director Alyssa Farah wrote to Trump on Twitter: “Judge this now, Donald Trump – you are the only one you will listen to. For our country!”
The incumbent president called on his followers on Twitter to remain peaceful during their protest and to support the police and security forces. In another tweet, Trump wrote: “No violence!”
Reminder from the Vice President
US Vice President Mike Pence became clearer. Trump’s deputy wrote on Twitter: “Peaceful protest is the right of every American, but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be held accountable with all the severity of the law.”
Pence had chaired the congressional session before the interruption. Trump had called on him directly to oppose the certification of the election result – contrary to the legal requirements. However, Pence rejected this request.
Certification of election results is usually a formality in the United States. However, various Republicans had previously announced a political disruptive action in which they wanted to appeal against results from the states. Trump, in turn, had presented this day of the congressional session for weeks – without any basis – as the last opportunity to overturn the election result. The outcome of the election cannot be shaken. The Republicans’ political disruptive action also had no prospect of success from the start.
Several high-ranking Republicans had branded their party colleagues’ planned action and Trump’s ongoing campaign against the election result as dangerous. Biden is to be sworn in on January 20th. (with material from the dpa) /