Trump bears some responsibility for encouraging mob, Oklahoma lawmakers say
Oklahoma’s senators and Rep. Tom Cole say President Donald Trump played at least some part in encouraging the mobs who started a riot at the Capitol on Wednesday, leading to five deaths and numerous injuries.
“He certainly bears some (responsibility),” said Cole, R-Moore. “The rhetoric was over the top and way too hot. I don’t think he deliberately set out to have what happened happen. Presidents need to be calming forces, and he certainly wasn’t in this case.”
House Democrats are circulating a draft of an article of impeachment that accuses Trump of inciting an insurrection, CNN reported Friday. The draft impeachment article says Trump made comments at a speech on Wednesday that “encouraged — and forseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol.”
Trump spoke to thousands of supporters at a “Save America Rally” in a park near the White House, telling them that the media and “radical left Democrats” had stolen the election.
“We will never give up,” Trump said. “We will never concede, it doesn’t happen.”
He also said, “Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with: We will stop the steal.”
As he spoke, Congress was preparing to count the electoral votes cast in each state and the District of Columbia.
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Trump said.
- Related to this story
- Article: Oklahoma members head to safety as Capitol is mobbed
- Article: Manufacturers group calls for Pence to invoke 25th Amendment removing Trump from power
- Article: Pro-Trump rally in OKC has much different feel than Washington, D.C.
- Article: Opinion: A sad spectacle at the U.S. Capitol
- Article: 'Violence never wins': Congress reconvenes to continue Electoral College count after pro-Trump riot at Capitol
- Article: Inhofe describes chaos as Trump rioters mobbed Capitol
- Article: Sen. Jim Inhofe says Mike Pence told him he was hurt that Trump turned on him
- Article: After riot, most Oklahoma lawmakers still vote to reject two states' electoral votes
- Article: US Capitol quiet after night of unprecedented assault: 4 dead, 52 arrested, FBI seeking information
- Article: Amid recriminations, Lankford, Bice say they weren't trying to overturn Biden's election
- Article: President Trump won't attend Joe Biden's inauguration
- Article: Rep. Tom Cole: Impeachment of Trump would mean more national trauma
- Article: How Oklahoma teachers talked about the Capitol riot with students
- Article: OKC council candidate posts pro-Trump rhetoric; has never voted in a city election
- Article: Republican blocks House from bringing up 25th Amendment bill, forcing vote
- Article: House passes measure calling on Pence to invoke 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office
- Article: Cole speaks against resolution urging Pence to invoke 25th Amendment
- Article: Pence refuses to invoke 25th Amendment
- Article: Rep. Tom Cole opposes impeachment of Trump, calls for healing
- Article: Inhofe withholds comment on House impeachment case, cites upcoming trial
- Article: Oklahoma legislators advised to avoid the Capitol this weekend due to possible protests
- Article: Donald Trump impeached for 'incitement' of mob attack on US Capitol
- Article: US Capitol siege has echoes of the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building
- Article: Skydance bridge in Oklahoma City glows red, white and blue, honoring inauguration
- Article: Watch Garth Brooks singing 'Amazing Grace' at President Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony
- Video: Pro-Trump rally in OKC had much different feel than Washington, D.C.
At the end of his hourlong speech, which detailed his allegations of voter fraud and included grievances about several matters, the president said, “So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue … But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, a Republican, said, “This was a fiery speech that the president made to a couple thousand people … and it was one repeating the election was stolen.
“I think that a lot of people believed it and responded in a violent way.
“These people, they were all Trump people with all the attire on and all that, but I think these were some that were just fired up. They actually believed in their hearts that the election was stolen and they were expressing their wrath.”
Sen. James Lankford, a Republican, said in an interview, “Obviously, everybody’s responsible for their own actions. The president, in some of the statements that he made when he was speaking at noon — and he challenged people to be able to go to the Capitol in this time period — obviously created greater energy.
“But the president wasn’t saying to people: ‘Smash windows, break into the Capitol, get into fights with police.' He wasn’t saying that. People came here intentionally to be able to do this.
“This was not just an accidental mob that got whipped into a frenzy. People came here to do this. For whatever reason, whatever background, whatever their political persuasion — they came here to sow chaos. And they were well prepared for it.”
Asked whether the president did enough to try to stop the violence, Lankford said, “Obviously he put out a tweet and put out a video statement on that. It would have been better if that had been much stronger, to say the least.”
Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, who was on the House floor during part of the siege and can be seen in photos just behind armed officers guarding a door, told the Tulsa World this week, “Some people are saying the president is responsible. Absolutely not. At the same time, we’re all responsible for our actions.”
CNBC and other media outlets reported Friday that a U.S. Justice Department official said Trump is not expected to be criminally charged with inciting the riot at the Capitol.