In a tweet that has since been removed by Twitter, President Trump on Wednesday evening stoked his supporters who have descended on Capitol Hill, telling them they are justified in their actions.
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long,” Trump tweeted. “Go home with love and in peace. Remember this day forever!”
With many waving Trump flags and wearing Make America Great Again hats, the supporters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday morning, forcing lawmakers to shelter in place. Trump did not immediately ask the mob to leave, and aides told The New York Times he refused to issue a statement because he was so angry at Vice President Mike Pence for not blocking the Electoral College certification — something Pence did not have the power to do.
When Trump finally did break his silence, he requested that people “remain peaceful” and “respect the law and our great men and women in blue.” He then tweeted a video telling his supporters he thinks they are “very special.” Twitter flagged this video — as well as the tweet asking people to “remember this day forever!” — with notes explaining they could not be replied to or retweeted because that could further incite violence. Not long after, Twitter removed both of the tweets completely.