Tom Bossert, the president’s former homeland security adviser, called out his former boss. “This is beyond wrong and illegal,” he said on Twitter. “It’s un-American. The President undermined American democracy baselessly for months. As a result, he’s culpable for this siege, and an utter disgrace.”
While Washington has seen many protests over the years, including some that turned violent, the uprising on Wednesday was unlike anything that the city has seen during a transition of power in modern times, literally interrupting the constitutional acceptance of Mr. Biden’s election victory.
The assault on the Capitol was the first by a hostile group of invaders since the British sacked the building during the War of 1812, according to the United States Capitol Historical Society. Four Puerto Rican nationalists entered the building peacefully in 1954 and sat down in the House visitors gallery, at which point they pulled out guns and opened fire indiscriminately, injuring five lawmakers. In 1998, a gunman walked into the Capitol and killed two members of the Capitol Police.
But none of them was egged on by an American president the way that Mr. Trump seemed to do on Wednesday during a “Save America March” on the Ellipse south of the White House just as Congress was convening to validate Mr. Biden’s election.
“We will never give up,” Mr. Trump had declared. “We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that’s what this is all about.”
As the crowd on the Ellipse chanted, “Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump!” the president lashed out at members of his own party for not doing more to help him cling to power over the will of the people. “There are so many weak Republicans,” he growled and then vowed to take revenge against those he deemed insufficiently loyal. “You primary them,” he said.
He singled out Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, a Republican who has angered him by not intervening in the election, calling him “one of the dumbest governors in the United States.” And he went after William P. Barr, the attorney general who debunked his false election complaints. “All of a sudden, Bill Barr changed,” he groused.
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