President Donald Trump on Monday rejected personal responsibility for his comments widely seen as inciting the violent January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The speech he made to the extremist crowd "has been analyzed," Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews, and "people thought that what I said was totally appropriate."
Q: "What is your role in what happened at the Capitol? What is your personal responsibility?"
President Trump: "If you read my speech...people thought that what I said was totally appropriate." pic.twitter.com/90Pdt8xFSz
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 12, 2021
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) responded by calling Trump a "menace."
"These remarks make it clear that he has no problem endangering others or inciting insurrection, and would be willing to do it again," tweeted Beyer.
Trump’s speech last week openly incited insurrectionists to storm the Capitol. Today, he called those comments “totally appropriate.” He is continuing to encourage insurrection & undermining the rule of law. He must be held to account for attacking our Constitution & our country.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) January 12, 2021
I'm sure he also thinks the violent insurrection and attempted coup were also "totally appropriate."
We must remove this man from office. https://t.co/rwyR7iV68N
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) January 12, 2021
Progressive group Indivisible also firmly rejected the president's assessment.
"Trump's treasonous behavior cannot go unpunished," the group tweeted. "Tell your members of Congress to impeach, convict, and disqualify him from ever holding federal office again."
The president's remarks to the crowd last week—which including telling them that "you'll never take back our country with weakness" and reiterating false claims of a stolen election—were cited Monday in a criminal complaint that accuses Trump of sedition.
"We are going to impeach this fascist, again," said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) in direct response to Trump's remarks on Tuesday, "and when he's out of office in eight days he must be prosecuted for his many many crimes."