OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
President Donald Trump posted a speech to Twitter using the official White House account late on Wednesday evening to condemn the violence that broke out in the nation’s capital last week, to call for peace, and to discourage any further acts of violence.
“My fellow Americans, I want to speak to you tonight about the troubling events of the past week. As I have said, the incursion of the U.S. Capitol struck at the very heart of our Republic. It angered and appalled millions of Americans across the political spectrum. I want to be very clear: I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week,” Trump began. “Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement. Making America Great Again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement, and upholding our nation’s most sacred traditions and values. Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for.”
“No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement. You’re attacking it, and you are attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it,” he continued. “Tragically, over the course of the past year, made so difficult because of COVID-19, we have seen political violence spiral out of control. We have seen too many riots, too many mobs, too many acts of intimidation and destruction. It must stop. Whether you are on the Right, or on the Left, a Democrat or a Republican, there is never a justification for violence. No excuses, no exceptions.”
“America is a nation of laws. Those who engaged in the attacks last week will be brought to justice. Now I am asking everyone who has ever believed in our agenda to be thinking of ways to ease tensions, calm tempers, and help to promote peace in our country,” he continued. “There has been reporting that additional demonstrations are being planned in the coming days, both here in Washington and across the country. I have been briefed by the U.S. Secret Service on the potential threats. Every American deserves to have their voice heard in a respectful and peaceful way. That is your First Amendment right.”
“But I cannot emphasize that there must be no violence, no law-breaking, and no vandalism of any kind. Everyone must follow our laws and obey the instructions of law enforcement. I have directed federal agencies to use all necessary resources to maintain order. In Washington, D.C., we are bringing in thousands of National Guard members to secure the city and ensure that a transition can occur safely and without incident,” he continued. “Like all of you, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the calamity at the Capitol last week. I want to thank the hundreds of millions of incredible American citizens who have responded to this moment with calm, moderation, and grace.”
The president also used the opportunity to address the recent efforts by the political Left and tech companies to censor and cancel people, saying that it was “wrong” and “dangerous” to do so.
“What is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another,” he said. “All of us can choose by our actions to rise above the rancor and find common ground and shared purpose. We must focus on advancing the interests of the whole nation, delivering the miracle vaccines, defeating the pandemic, rebuilding the economy, protecting our national security, and upholding the rule of law.”
“Today I am calling on all Americans to overcome the passions of the moment, and join together as one American people,” he concluded. “Let us choose to move forward united, for the good of our families, our communities, and our country. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.”
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— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 13, 2021