President Trump was widely condemned for seemingly encouraging protestors to riot at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, with Twitter permanently suspending the president’s account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” As CNBC reported, the president conducted a rally just an hour before Congress was due to ratify president-elect Joe Biden’s victory, during which he encouraged supporters to fight to get their country back. “We will never give up. We will never concede,” Trump told supporters, who cheered him on before doing exactly as they’d been instructed and marching on Capitol Hill. As the insurrection, as it was later termed, grew steadily worse and the casualties piled up, the president’s critics and closest allies alike encouraged him to call a halt to the violence.
“I call on President Trump to go on national television now, to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege,” Biden advised during a rousing speech of his own. Eventually, President Trump tweeted, requesting followers to “remain peaceful” and, in a subsequent video, advised them, “You have to go home now. We have to have peace,” while simultaneously pushing the same false narrative about Biden’s “fraudulent victory” all the while. His wife, First Lady Melania Trump, meanwhile, remained curiously silent throughout the incident. In her final official statement, the first lady tackled it head on.
First Lady Melania Trump condemned the violence and took aim at her critics
Melania Trump spoke out in response to the violent protests in an open letter on the White House site. “I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week,” she stated, before turning her attention to critics of the Trump administration. “I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me — from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda.” She was quick to note she “condemns” the violence, advising it’s “never acceptable” before expressing her condolences to the four Trump supporters and US Capitol police officer who were killed during the insurrection (as per The Guardian).
According to CNN, while the incident was taking place, Trump was busy doing a photo shoot featuring “rugs and other items,” according to a source. Many were wondering whether she would take the opportunity to condemn the violence, or call for calm, in the same manner she had during recent BLM protests over the police’s murder of George Floyd. An insider told CNN the first lady is simply “checked out” at this stage. The source added, “She just isn’t in a place mentally or emotionally anymore where she wants to get involved.” On the evening of Jan. 6, 2021, two of her top aides, chief of staff Stephanie Grisham Anna Cristina “Rickie” Niceta, White House social secretary, tendered their resignations in response to the violence at the Capitol.
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