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Trump Downplays Insurrection But Tells Supporters To 'Go Home'

Supporters of President Trump climb the west wall of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Jose Luis Magana
Supporters of President Trump climb the west wall of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Updated at 6:14 p.m. ET

After a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, President Trump downplayed the violence of the day and repeated his fraudulent claim that the election was stolen, but also urged them to "go home."

In a Wednesday evening tweet, Trump wrote: "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long."

"Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!" he added.

And in a short video earlier posted to social media Wednesday afternoon, Trump sympathized with protesters, saying "I know your pain. I know your hurt.

"We had an election that was stolen from us," he said, repeating debunked claims that election fraud had ruined his fictitious "landslide election."

"But you have to go home now," he said. "We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We don't want anybody hurt."

One person, however, earlier suffered a gunshot wound at the U.S. Capitol amid the violent occupation and was transported by Washington, D.C., Emergency Medical Services from the building.

"This was a fraudulent election," Trump claimed baselessly again, "but we can't play into the hands of these people. So go home. We love you. You're very special."

Twitter took the extraordinary step of not allowing replies, retweets or likes on the video.

"This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can't be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence," a warning on the tweet said.

Facebook took an even stronger stance, removing the video. "We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence," Facebook executive Guy Rosen tweeted.

Earlier Wednesday, in a speech from the Ellipse outside the White House, Trump urged his backers to march to the Capitol, saying he would go with them, but instead he returned to the White House as the insurrection unfolded.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.