United States First Lady Melania Trump on Monday broke her silence over last week’s violence in Washtington, DC, when hundreds of her husband’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The attack took place after President Donald Trump gave a provocative speech to tens of thousands of his supporters on January 6 as the US Congress was scheduled to count the Electoral College votes in the November presidential election. At least five people were killed in the chaos.
Senior Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives have called on Trump to step down due to his role in the attack and also urged Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Democrats have warned that if Trump is not impeached, they will act to impeach Trump for “incitement to insurgency.”
Here is Melania’s statement in full:
Like all of you, I have reflected on the past year and how the invisible enemy, Covid-19, has swept our beautiful country. All nations have suffered the loss of loved ones, economic suffering and the negative effects of isolation.
As your First Lady, it has been inspiring to witness what the people of our great nation will do for each other, especially when we are most vulnerable.
With almost all of the experiences I have had, I have found myself taking home many individual stories.
Most recently, my heart goes out to: Air Force Veteran Ashli Babbit, Benjamin Philips, Kevin Greeson, Rosanne Boyland, and Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood. I pray for the comfort and strength of their families during this difficult time.
I am disappointed and disheartened by what happened last week. I find it shameful that around these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unjustified personal attacks and deceptive false accusations against me – from people who seek to be relevant and who have an agenda. This time, it’s all about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal purposes.
Our nation must heal in a civilian way. Make no mistake, I absolutely condemn the violence that has taken place on our nation’s Capitol. Violence is never acceptable.
As an American, I take pride in our freedom to express our views without persecution. It is one of the overarching ideals on which America is fundamentally built. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect this right. With that in mind, I would like to appeal to the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause and look at things from all angles.
I implore people to stop violence, never to make assumptions based on a person’s skin color or to use different political ideologies as the basis for aggression and meanness. We need to listen to each other, focus on what unites us and rise above what divides us.
It is inspiring to see that so many people have found a passion and an enthusiasm to participate in an election, but we must not allow this passion to turn into violence. Our way forward is to come together, find our common ground, and be the kind, strong people that I know we are.
The strength and character of our country has been revealed in the communities that have been affected by natural disasters and throughout this terrible pandemic that has touched us all. The common thread running through all of these difficult situations is Americans’ unwavering determination to help each other. Your compassion has shown the true spirit of our country.
Like I said over the summer, it’s these defining moments that we’re going to look back on and tell our grandchildren that through empathy, strength and determination we were able to restore the promise of our future. Each of you is the backbone of this country. You are the ones who continue to make the United States of America what it is and have an incredible responsibility to prepare our future generations to leave everything better than they found it.
It has been the honor of my life to be your First Lady. I want to thank the millions of Americans who have supported my husband and I over the past 4 years and shown the incredible impact of the American spirit. Thank you all for allowing me to serve you on platforms that are dear to me.
Most importantly, I ask for healing, grace, understanding and peace for our great Nation.
Let us remind ourselves every day that we are one nation under God. God bless you all and God bless the United States of America.