President Donald Trump’s speech condemning Capitol rioters and acknowledging his administration will end was “purely performative” and should not stop Congress from impeaching him, his niece Mary Trump said Thursday.
“I think somebody was able to get through to him and convince him that even if it’s only performative, he needed to do something to mitigate the damage he caused ― only to himself, of course, because that’s all he cares about,” she told MSNBC’s Joy Reid.
“But of course, it was purely performative. There was not any truth in it at all, and if you listen carefully, he doesn’t actually concede the election,” Mary Trump added.
In an address released on Twitter, Trump said he was “outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem” a day earlier when a mob that he egged on to protest his election loss stormed the Capitol while lawmakers were certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College votes. As it was happening, Trump asked them to go home, but doubled down on his stolen election narrative and then said: “We love you.”
Trump struck a very different tone Thursday after a slew of White House resignations, condemnation from both foes and allies, suspension from several social media platforms and calls for him to be removed from office. He said that a new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, which was the closest he came to making a concession speech.
“There’s no reason to take that video seriously, there’s no reason to give him any credit for it, there is no reason at all to believe that it means that he’s going to change going forward,” Mary Trump said. “We’re still looking at a very difficult, potentially dangerous 12 days, and it certainly shouldn’t do anything to let him off the hook.”
Mary Trump has joined a loud chorus of voices demanding Trump’s removal. Democrats in Congress and some Republicans have called on Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would deem Trump unfit to serve and allow Pence to take over for the remainder of the term. Two Cabinet members have resigned over Wednesday’s disturbing events.
If Pence fails to act, Democratic leaders warned they are prepared to proceed with impeachment. The Wall Street Journal, a leading voice of the conservative establishment, also called for Trump’s resignation if not his impeachment.