Donald Trump 'unequivocally condemns' Capitol riots after impeachment vote

13 January 2021, 23:31 | Updated: 14 January 2021, 00:31

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Donald Trump has "unequivocally condemned" the Capitol riots last week and warned supporters against further violence - but refused to comment on the vote to impeach him for a second time.

In an address on the White House Youtube channel, the outgoing President said that mob violence "goes against everything I believe in" and that "no true supporter" of his would endorse it.

He also encouraged his fans to "think of ways to ease tensions, calm tempers and help promote peace" across the country.

Read more: Donald Trump becomes only US President to be impeached twice after Capitol riots

Read more: What does impeachment mean for Donald Trump? What happened in the vote?

In the scripted speech, he said: "I unequivocally condemn the violence we saw last week. 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."

Nancy Pelosi signed the article of impeachment following the vote
Nancy Pelosi signed the article of impeachment following the vote. Picture: PA Images

He accused rioters who broke into the Capitol building last week of "attacking" his movement and the country.

"No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement - you're attacking it and you are attacking our country," he added.

"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."

Read more: Donald Trump says lawbreaking and vandalism 'isn't what I stand for' after Capitol riots

He told both the Right and the Left there was "never a justification for violence... no excuses, no exceptions."

"America is a nation of laws," he added, "Those who engaged in the attacks of last week will be brought to justice."

The extraordinary speech signals a shift in how seriously the President is taking the incident and similar acts in the near future, telling viewers that he had been briefed by the Secret Service about the seriousness of what could occur at Joe Biden's inauguration next week.

It follows a 232-197 vote in favour of impeachment on Wednesday evening - the second time in history that a US President has been impeached twice.

There were 10 Republican rebels who vote in favour of the impeachment, which has happened a week before Trump leaves the Oval Office.

A mob of his supporters stormed the historic building last week, breaking into the House of Representatives and forcing staff and elected representatives to barricade themselves in offices.

Five people were killed in the riots - including one police officer - after Trump told his supporters to "fight harder" in a rally held outside the White House.

After the vote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that her colleagues from both parties had "demonstrated that no one is above the law - not even the President of the United States".

She said: "Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country. Once again we honour that oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help us God."

Ms Pelosi then signed the article of impeachment, described herself as "heartbroken over what this means to our country".