Thursday, January 14, 2021

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s call to action distorted in debate

I noticed these distortions when I was listening to the debate.



Wed, January 13, 2021, 1:55 PM EST

The House impeachment debate on Wednesday heard a distorted account of President Donald Trump’s remarks to his supporters a week ago when he exhorted them to “fight like hell” before they swarmed the Capitol.

REP. GUY RESCHENTHALER, R-Pa.: “At his rally, President Trump urged attendees to, quote, unquote, peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. There was no mention of violence, let alone calls to action.”

THE FACTS: Trump’s speech was a call to action — a call to fight and save the country.

“Our country has had enough,” he told those who went on to stage the violent siege of the Capitol.

Reschenthaler accurately quoted a line from Trump, when the president told supporters “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

But throughout his remarks, Trump spoke of the need to “fight,” to be angry, to stop President-elect Joe Biden from taking office.

— “We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

— “We want to go back, and we want to get this right because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there and our country will be destroyed, and we’re not going to stand for that.”

— “Nobody knows what the hell is going on. There’s never been anything like this. We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen. Not going to let it happen.” The crowd repeatedly chanted “Fight for Trump!” “Thank you,” Trump said.

He assailed “weak,” “pathetic” Republicans who were not standing with him in his push to overturn the election results, and said “there’d be hell all over the country” if Democrats had been robbed of an election win.


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