Republicans, White House Aides Beg Trump To Call Off MAGA Occupation of Capitol
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R–Wis.), representing the Green Bay area, recorded a message while sheltered in place in his own D.C. office at the Capitol and posted it on Twitter, begging President Donald Trump to say something to stop the violent intrusion there:
— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@RepGallagher) January 6, 2021
“The vice president of the United States was just rushed off the floor by the Secret Service,” he noted. “This is banana republic crap that we’re watching happen right now.”
He added that he was told by politicians in D.C. who planned to object to the election results that these objections would be peaceful and that they knew nothing would come of it.
“We’re going to have the debate, voice people’s concerns, and then, we won’t actually overturn our entire system of representative government,” Gallagher said he was told by these people. “So nothing bad will happen. There will be no cost to this effort.”
“This is the cost to this effort,” Gallagher responded, in reference to the protesters storming the building, “and telling thousands of people that there is a legitimate shot of overturning the election today, even though you know that is not true.”
“We have got to stop this,” he implored. “Mr. President, you have got to stop this. You are the only person who can call this off. Call it off. The election is over. Call it off. This is bigger than you. This is bigger than any member of Congress. This is about the United States of America, which is more important than any politician. Call it off. It’s over.”
So far, Trump’s response has been to tweet for protesters to “remain peaceful,” even as the protests get wilder:
I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
On ABC, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he had been trying to reach Trump on the phone, unsuccessfully, to get him to try to call the protesters off. He said, “The president caused this protest to occur. He is the only one who can make it stop.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), who has remained a Trump ally throughout his term, denounced the violence on Twitter:
Violence and mob rule is wrong and un-American, and it will not bring about election reform.
Today’s mayhem sets back any intelligent debate for a generation. Just stop it.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 6, 2021
Maggie Haberman at The New York Times says aides are trying to get Trump to put out stronger statements to try to get the protesters to calm down, but he won’t:
Per people close to the White House, several official and unofficial aides are trying – without success – to get the president to issue a stronger statement. He simply won’t do it. He’s been furious at Pence for refusing to do something he doesn’t have power to do and that’s that
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 6, 2021
Instead, it appears to be falling on Vice President Mike Pence, who triggered Trump’s ire by refusing to swing the election back into Trump’s favor, to attempt to order protesters to leave the capitol building:
Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 6, 2021
The Twitter account for the Senate Republicans has called for an end to this “chaos”:
The Congress will not be intimidated from doing the people’s business.
End this chaos now.
For our country.
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) January 6, 2021
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