Contrasting images of the heart of American democracy portray Trump’s legacy in supporting white supremacists.
On the rainy morning of January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in on Capitol Hill to become the 45th President of the United States. His inauguration was marred by violence as riots broke out in cities across the country.
Four years later, as Trump is on the verge of exiting, Capitol Hill – located steps from the White House in Washington, DC – has been the scene of fierce clashes after hundreds of Trump supporters took to the streets. storms the Capitol Building – the seat of the US Congress. – in order to thwart the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden.
On January 6, 2021, protesters scaled the walls of the Capitol’s western front, smashing windows, leading to an armed standoff with security. At least four people died and 52 were arrested.
Four years earlier, on the same steps of the nation’s Capitol, Trump applauded President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for “their gracious assistance throughout this transition” and the “orderly and peaceful transfer of power” .
On Wednesday, Trump addressed his supporters outside the White House and repeated unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him. Later that day, the US Congress certified Biden’s victory.
Trump then called on his supporters to return home, but also praised them as “very special,” while professing his “love” for them. Among the flag-waving crowds were various Confederate flags, which symbolize the southern states that fought in the Civil War as they sought to break away from the union – a symbol that has grown in importance since the election of Trump in 2017. Confederate flags are now associated with white supremacists.
In 2017, thousands of anti-Trump protesters converged in the capital as well as in cities across the United States and around the world to express their dislike of the new president and his policies.
While the vast majority of the protests were peaceful, some protesters resorted to violence. Since then, the United States has seen some of the biggest protests, including the Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody on May 25, 2020.
Since taking office, Trump has been accused of attacking the news media, calling their reporting “fake news” and calling them “the enemy of the people”. In 2020, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that “the Trump administration’s attacks on the credibility of the news media have dangerously undermined the truth and consensus in a deeply divided country.”
Pro-Trump rioters broke the Associated Press news agency’s television equipment on Wednesday as they attempted to cover events outside Capitol Hill.
Local media also reported reading the words “Murder Media” engraved on a door of the Capitol.
The US President currently has 12 days of his presidential term before Joe Biden takes the oath of office as the 46th President of the United States.
Calls are increasing for the president to be dismissed even before that date by invoking the 25th amendment which could declare him unfit for office.
In a letter signed by all Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, representatives wrote: “President Trump has revealed that he is not mentally sound and that he is still unable to process and accept 2020 election results. ”