President Donald Trump tweeted a defense of those who voted for him as he remained publicly silent about the death of a police officer at the hands of rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol at his urging.
Trump applauded the “great American Patriots” who voted for him, saying Friday “they will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” The tweet comes just 14 hours after Trump released a video condemning Wednesday’s riot, which he long encouraged and then praised.
“We love you, you’re very special,” Trump said to those who breached the Capitol in a video released while the riots were taking place.
At least five people have died in connection with the riots, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was injured while “physically engaging” with rioters. Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, was shot dead by police, while three other people — Benjamin Phillips, 50; Kevin Greeson, 55; and Rosanne Boyland, 34 — died of apparent “medical emergencies,” according to officials.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany condemned the riots during a short press briefing Thursday, acknowledging “the loss of life and those injured.” Sicknick was confirmed dead early Friday morning.
Trump has repeatedly touted himself as the “law and order president” and has repeatedly pushed for the arrest and punishment of “agitators” during other public demonstrations, like the Black Lives Matter marches that took place in the summer of 2020.