Social media platforms remove Trump video urging supporters to leave U.S. Capitol
WASHINGTON (WCSC) - Social media giants Facebook and YouTube removed a video President Donald Trump posted to his supporters Wednesday after protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Twitter initially tagged the video with an advisory saying Trump’s claim of election fraud is disputed and blocked Twitter users’ ability to reply to it, retweet it or like it because of “a risk of violence.”
But late Wednesday, Twitter apparently reconsidered and blocked the videos from view. Twitter replaced the video with a message that read simply, “This tweet is no longer available.”
Twitter said it would require the removal of three tweets and that the president’s account would be locked for 12 hours following their removal.
“If the tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked,” the platform posted.
The president posted the video at 4:17 p.m.
“I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us,” he said. “It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.”
The president called it a “very tough period of time,” calling the election “fraudulent.”
“But we can’t play into the hands of these people,” Trump said. “We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.”
The Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol.
In a raucous, out-of-control scene, protesters fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls. One person was reported shot at the Capitol, according to a person familiar with the situation. That person’s condition was unknown.
Demonstrators fought with Capitol Police and then forced their way into the building, not long after a huge rally near the White House during which Trump egged them on to march to Capitol Hill.
South Carolina First District Congresswoman Nancy Mace said her office in the Cannon Office Building on the Capitol complex was evacuated because of the threat. From her vantage point elsewhere in the building later in the afternoon, she said all she could hear was sirens.
“This is a sad day for our nation’s history. We’re better than this, and rhetoric has real consequences and we’re seeing that today,” she said.
Mace said she was devastated by the unrest, but said she was also angry because this is “not the way that we advocate or investigate issues with our electoral process, Electoral College, a presidential election or voter fraud.”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster took to Twitter, saying that while protest is honored, violence cannot be tolerated.
“Those who believe in America should leave the building immediately,” he said. “The rule of law must prevail.”
Lawmakers had convened for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results.
Though fellow Republicans were behind the challenge to Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to lower tensions and argued against it. He warned the country “cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes” with “separate facts.”
McConnell declared, “The voters, the courts and the states all have spoken.”
But other Republicans, including House GOP leaders among Trump’s allies were acting out the pleas of supporters at his huge Wednesday rally up Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House to “fight for Trump.”
“We have to fix this,” said Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the GOP whip.
Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.