On Tuesday, outgoing President Donald Trump visited Alamo, Texas — a city along the southern border — where he, among other things, vaguely threatened soon-to-be President Joe Biden with the invocation of the 25th Amendment, offered what sounded like a preemptive excuse for potential violent acts from his supporters in the near future, and claimed that “respect for law enforcement” sits at the core of the so-called “MAGA agenda,” no matter the fact that (at least) one of his supporters beat Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick to death during last week’s attack on the Capitol. Sicknick died of his injuries in the time after the riot after getting struck by a fire extinguisher.
In scripted remarks in Texas, President Trump says, "Free speech is under assault like never before. The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for."
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 12, 2021
As a soon-to-be private citizen, Trump obviously wouldn’t have any power to invoke the 25th Amendment against Biden. The amendment, which some have called for in response to Trump’s incitement of the Capitol violence, provides a mechanism by which the vice president and a majority of the president’s Cabinet members can remove presidential powers from the president in the event that they’re unable to fulfill their duties.
Trump belligerently commented as follows:
‘Before we begin, I’d like to say that free speech is under assault like never before. The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes: be careful what you wish for. The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division and pain — far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time.’
His insistence that House Democrats’ decision to pursue impeachment against him for a second time is “causing tremendous anger and division and pain” sounds like a preemptive excuse for potential future violent acts by his supporters.
Trump added as follows:
‘Now I’d like to briefly address the events of last week. Millions of our citizens watched on Wednesday as a mob stormed the Capitol and trashed the halls of government. As I have consistently said throughout my administration, we believe in respecting America’s history and traditions — not tearing them down. We believe in the rule of law, not in violence or rioting.’
Trump subsequently veered into praise for the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccine, claiming that experts claimed that the development process could take up to 10 years — although there’s no apparent indication that any prominent authority actually made such an assertion. Furthermore, the pandemic continues to actively ravage the country, and issues remain with the process of distributing the vaccine, which has been proceeding slower than needed — but Trump took a rhetorical victory lap anyway.
At the border, Trump added as follows:
‘This has been a difficult year and a very difficult election. The pandemic has made it a very, very difficult year for our country and virtually every country all over the world. Now is the time for our nation to heal, and it’s time for peace and for calm. Respect for law enforcement and the great people within law enforcement… is the foundation of the MAGA agenda.’
Again — Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died after getting struck by a fire extinguisher at a riot that Trump helped incite. Other officers were also injured. Watch Trump’s comments below:
TRUMP: “The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for…Respect for law enforcement…is the foundation of the MAGA agenda. And we're a nation of law and…of order." pic.twitter.com/mNODsK0GCi
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) January 12, 2021