President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., tweeted appeals for calm in Washington as a mob that had sung “Happy Birthday” to another of the president’s sons stormed Capitol Hill.
Eric Trump, President Trump’s second son, had tweeted his delight earlier hours earlier at having hundreds of thousands of right-wing pro-Trump protesters sing “Happy Birthday” to him on the National Mall.
Some of those protesters then converged on the Capitol at the President’s urging, unleashing violence not seen in decades in chambers of the American legislature.
President Trump’s baseless claims of such fraud have already compelled some of his followers to issue death threats against Republicans who dared to follow their legal and constitutional duty to recognize President-elect Joe Biden as the election winner.
On Wednesday, President Trump himself issued a video telling protesters “I love you. You’re very special,” and also telling them to go home. In the video, he said, “We had an election. That was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace.”
He added, “There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us: From me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election. But we can’t play into the hands of these people.” He then told his followers to respect law enforcement and “go home in peace.”
Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s daughter, responded to a tweet asking if she considered violent protesters as “patriots” after issuing a now-deleted tweet referring to them as such. Ivanka Trump answered by writing, “No. Peaceful protest is patriotic. Violence is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms.”
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, re-posted a video of protesters scuffling with police outside of the capitol building and wrote, “This is wrong and not who we are. Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don’t start acting like the other side. We have a country to save and this doesn’t help anyone.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, knocking down barricades and amid Congress beginning the process of certifying the presidential election results. As protesters eventually entered the Senate chamber, police officers had to draw their guns inside the House chamber.
Newsweek contacted the White House for comment.