BFF-57,58,59 Defiant Trump says impeachment causing ‘tremendous anger’

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US-POLITICS NEWSERIES

Defiant Trump says impeachment causing ‘tremendous anger’

WASHINGTON, Jan 12, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – President Donald Trump emerged
from isolation at the White House on Tuesday to deny responsibility
for a mob of his supporters storming Congress, and warning that his
imminent impeachment is causing “tremendous anger.”

Trump — set Wednesday to become the first president in US history
impeached for a second time — made clear he takes no blame for the
January 6 speech in which he urged supporters to march on Congress.

“They’ve analyzed my speech in my words and my final paragraph, my
final sentence, and everybody to the tee just thought it was totally
appropriate,” Trump said before flying to Texas.

Trump called his scheduled impeachment in the House of
Representatives on Wednesday a “continuation of the greatest witch
hunt in the history of politics.”

And he warned that while “you have to always avoid violence,” his
supporters are furious.

“I’ve never seen such anger as I’ve seen right now,” he said.

With only eight days left in his one-term administration, Trump
finds himself alone, shunned by former supporters, barred by social
media, and now facing the unprecedented stain of a second impeachment.

No longer able to use Twitter and Facebook — two platforms
integral to his shock rise to power in 2016 — Trump is for the first
time struggling to shape the news message, a censoring by Big Tech
that he called a “catastrophic mistake.”

His trip to Alamo, Texas, where he will tout claims of success in
building a US-Mexican border wall, is his first live public appearance
since last week’s chaotic events.

This is not the same Alamo as the famous fortress in another part
of Texas, but the trip still marks something of a last stand.

Ever since the November 3 election, the Republican real estate
tycoon has been obsessively pushing a lie that he, not Democrat Joe
Biden, was the real winner. Then last week, in a speech on the
National Mall, he called on the huge crowd to go to Congress and “show
strength.”

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Amped up on Trump’s rhetoric, the mob burst into Congress, fighting
with police, trashing offices and forcing frightened lawmakers to
suspend briefly a ceremony legally formalizing Biden’s victory.

The crisis galvanized many of Trump’s former boosters in the
corporate and sporting world to turn their backs.

In the Republican party, which has been in thrall to the populist
leader for four years, even ultra-loyal senior figures like Senator
Lindsey Graham have finally told Trump that he must accept election
defeat.

Trump, however, clearly remains in denial.

He has yet to congratulate Biden or urge his supporters to stand
behind the incoming president after he is inaugurated on January 20 —
a gesture of political unity considered all but routine after US
elections.

And according to Axios, Trump and the top Republican in the House
of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, had a stormy phone conversation
Tuesday in which Trump continued to push his conspiracy theory that he
was the true election winner.

McCarthy reportedly interrupted, telling him: “Stop it. It’s over.
The election is over.”

– Impeachment 2.0 –

The House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on a longshot bid to
get Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to invoke the US
Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which would declare Trump unfit to
perform his duties and install Pence as acting president.

This is unlikely to happen.

Although Pence is reportedly furious about Trump’s behavior last
week, the two met at the White House on Monday for the first time
since the Congress attack and had “a good conversation,” according to
a senior administration official.

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That signaled that whatever Pence and the dwindling number of White
House officials feel, they are committed to keeping the presidency
limping along until January 20.

Still, with a string of cabinet officials quitting the government
— most recently the acting head of the Department of Homeland
Security Chad Wolf on Monday — it’s also clear that Trump’s grip on
power is tenuous.

In an interview Tuesday on ABC News, Health Secretary Alex Azar did
not dismiss outright the option of removing Trump, saying: “I’m not
going to get into or discuss the 25th Amendment here.”

Democrats will follow up the 25th Amendment vote with impeachment
proceedings in the House on Wednesday. The single charge of
“incitement of insurrection” is all but sure to get majority support.

The Republican-controlled Senate, however, is in recess until
January 19 and its leadership says there is no way to rush through an
impeachment trial before Biden takes over the following day.

This means that Trump, who was acquitted in the Senate last year
after his first impeachment, would not be forced out of office early.

Not even all Democrats are gunning whole heartedly for a trial,
worried that this would overshadow Biden’s first days in office.

The new president will already face the challenges of an
out-of-control Covid-19 pandemic, the stumbling vaccination program, a
shaky economy, and now the aftermath of violent political opposition
from parts of Trump’s huge voter base.

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