A social media meme says that on January 6, 2021, the day of the US Capitol riot, then-US President Donald Trump tweeted to supporters to ‘stay peaceful’ without ‘violence’ ” and urged them to “support”. our Capitol Police and law enforcement.
In early June 2022, we received a letter from readers asking us to verify whether former US President Donald Trump tweeted to his supporters on the day of the US Capitol riot to “remain peaceful” without “violence” and to “support our Capitol Police.” and law enforcement. The alleged tweets from January 6, 2021 appeared in a same it was shared on social networks. At the time readers asked us about the meme, the US House panel investigating the insurgency was appearing in several television hearings to present its findings.
The meme appeared like this:
We have confirmed that these two tweets are genuine. However, there is a lot of context about this meme to cover here. (In the past, Trump Many times share tweet this show he was strongly opposed to his words being taken out of context.)
Context is key
January 8, 2021, Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account following the events on Capitol Hill. However, both posts were still available on his Facebook page, where he was eventually suspended from posting for two years. His Facebook suspension also came in the wake of the Capitol Riot.
The bottom of the meme seemed to claim that there was some kind of cover-up to hide these tweets from the public. In fact, the two tweets were printed by countless news outlets and other blogs in articles published around the world.
Perhaps most significant in the context behind the meme was that these tweets from Trump came after the violence on Capitol Hill had already begun — and several months after he began promoting baseless predictions of massive voter fraud during of the 2020 US presidential election. The primary reason for the violent events of January 6 stemmed from Trump supporters’ false belief that the election was stolen.
The first message included in the meme was posted at 2:38 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Twitter and 2:40 p.m. on Facebook. It read, “Please support our Capitol Police and our law enforcement agencies. They are really on the side of our country. Stay calm !
The meme’s second post was posted minutes later at 3:13 p.m. on Twitter and 3:14 p.m. on Facebook. The message read, “I ask everyone in the US Capitol to stay peaceful. No violence! Remember WE are the Party of Law and Order – obey the law and our great men and women in blue. Thanks!”
USA Today published a timeline of the Capitol riot that showed the grounds had already been violated before Trump released his “peaceful” tweets. In fact, after the grounds were violated, Trump first tweeted“Mike Pence didn’t have the guts to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, by giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones that we had asked them to certify before. The United States demands the truth!
With the help of a megaphone, one of the apparent protesters at the Capitol riot read Trump’s tweet about Pence to the crowd. What follows videowhich was uncovered by the US House panel investigating the riot, showed this to be the case:
The US House panel also reported receiving testimony that Trump apparently approved of crowd chants to “hang Mike Pence.”
‘We love you. You are very special.
More than an hour after Trump’s second tweet was posted, a video appeared on his social media accounts around 4:17 p.m. In the video, Trump repeated baseless allegations of voter fraud and falsely claimed that his campaign had been victorious in a “landslide”. victory. He told his supporters: “But you have to go home now.” He also addressed the violent rioters saying, “We love you. You are very special.
Trump’s last tweet of the day came at 6:01 p.m. He said, “These are the things and events that happen when a landslide sacred election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped of great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long. . Go home with love and peace. Remember this day forever!”
Earlier in the day, Trump delivered a speech to supporters on the Ellipse in Washington, DC. According to the Associated Press, some supporters left for the Capitol early before he finished speaking. Other supporters spent the morning “locking up the entrances to the Capitol”. During the speech, Trump used the word “peacefully” once. According to a transcript, Trump said, “I know everyone here will soon be marching to the Capitol building to raise their voices peacefully and patriotically.
Trump also told his supporters, “We’re going down to the Capitol.” In the speech, he said he would walk to the building with them. “I will be there with you,” Trump said. However, he did not accompany them.
Ahead of Trump’s speech, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others warmed up the crowd with brief remarks. Giuliani said, “Let’s do a trial by combat!” Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., also told those gathered at the Ellipse, “Today is the day American patriots start taking names and kicking ass.”
In sum, yes, Trump tweeted to his already rioting supporters on Capitol Hill to “remain peaceful” without “violence” and to “support our Capitol Police and law enforcement.” However, a lot of context was missing from the meme. The tweets have been published after the violence on Capitol Hill had already begun and several months after the former president began making baseless accusations of voter fraud.
Note: As of June 2022, more than 800 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in activities related to the Capitol Riot. The Washington Post reported that 140 law enforcement officers were injured in the violence. Additionally, CNBC reported that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died the day after the riot, and at least four other officers also later died by suicide.
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