U.S. Capitol Riot Jan 9, 2021 22:33:14 GMT
Post by Admin on Jan 9, 2021 22:33:14 GMT
President Trump encourages those who attended a rally in Washington, D.C. to march to the Capitol and protest Congress counting the Electoral College ballots for the presidential election.
In the days before a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, President Donald Trump's political apparatus worked behind the scenes with pro-Trump groups to plan and promote events in Washington, D.C., that ultimately led to Wednesday's attack on Congress.
Speaking at the "March to Save America" rally at the Ellipse in President's Park on Wednesday, President Trump urged a sea of supporters to march to the Capitol in protest of the Electoral College vote count -- telling the crowd he'd join them but ultimately not doing so -- after delivering a speech pushing baseless and unfounded claims that the election was rigged and telling the rowdy crowd that "you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength."
Trump's order sent thousands of his supporters marching to the Capitol, where some would overpower law enforcement, topple barricades and riot inside the halls of Congress in an unprecedented attack that left five people dead.
While the "March to Save America" rally was publicly promoted as being organized by groups not directly tied to the president's team, including "Women for America First" and "Stop the Steal," behind the scenes White House staff and close allies of the president, including former Trump campaign staff, worked with the organizers to plan and promote the events on Wednesday that would ultimately erupt into the deadly storming of the Capitol, sources said.
A permit for the rally submitted by "Women for America First" Executive Director Kylie Jane Kremer -- the daughter of the group's founder, former Tea Party activist Amy Kremer -- was approved on January 4. The permit stated that the event would take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with 30,000 attendees, according to documents obtained by ABC News.
"Women for America First" is a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization that was founded in 2019. Since the November election, the group has taken the lead in organizing events, bus tours, and protests challenging the results of the election, which often feature members of the president's campaign and family.
Sources tell ABC News that many staffers who had worked on the president's 2020 campaign were involved in setting up and taking down the event space, including the stage on the National Mall. The Trump campaign denied that any active members of its team were involved in the planning of the rally, telling ABC News in a statement, "We did not organize, operate or finance this event. No campaign staff was involved in the organization or operation of this event. If any former employees or independent contractors for the campaign worked on this event, they did not do so at the direction of the Trump campaign."
Following the attack on the Capitol, "Women for America First" posted a statement on its website from Kremer denouncing the violence and distancing itself from any responsibility.
"We unequivocally denounce violence of any type and under any circumstances." the statement read. "We are saddened and disappointed at the violence that erupted on Capitol Hill, instigated by a handful of bad actors, that transpired after the rally."