Former President Donald Trump, who is accused of a coup attempt in which police were speared and sprayed, returned to Washington for the first time since leaving the Oval Office with a plea for law and order to give police “the respect they deserve.”
Trump spoke at a luxury hotel less than two miles away from the Capitol, the site where 18 months ago, his supporters furiously attacked law enforcement in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
It marked his first visit to Washington since he left the White House, snubbing the inauguration of his successor and instead going to Florida.
The 90-minute address was given at a summit hosted by rightwing think tank America First Policy Institute, created by his own White House alumni.
It came less than a week after the congressional January 6 special select committee detailed an excruciating 187 minutes in which Trump chose not to stop the insurrection on the Capitol by his supporters.
During his speech, Trump sought to blame Democrats for what he described as a rampant crime.
“There is no longer respect for the law and there certainly is no order,” Trump said. “Our country is now a cesspool of crime. We have blood, death, and suffering on a scale once unthinkable because of the Democrat party’s effort to destroy and dismantle law enforcement all throughout America. It has to stop and it has to stop now.”
He continued that the “radical left’s anti-police narrative is a total lie.”
More than 140 Capitol police and DC Metropolitan police officers were injured while defending the Capitol on Jan. 6. In testimony to the Jan. 6 committee, one officer said she was “slipping in people’s blood” at the Capitol.
Trump was immediately condemned online for trying to be both pro-insurrection and pro-“respect-for-law.”
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