The extraordinary move came just two days after pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol following a rally nearby in which Mr Trump continued to spout baseless conspiracy theories about November’s presidential election being stolen from him.
The insurrection at the Capitol left at least five people dead, including a police officer, and is looking increasingly likely to culminate in a second impeachment of Mr Trump.
Despite Mr Trump later condemning the violence in a video shared on social media, one Republican congressman said White House officials had revealed the president was “delighted” when he heard supporters were breaking into the Capitol building.
“As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was, as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building,” Representative Ben Sasse told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt.
“That was happening. He was delighted.”
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s up-to-the-minute coverage off all the latest in US politics following yet another week of extraordinary events in Washington DC.