In the aftermath of deadly rioting at the U.S. Capitol that is connected to at least five deaths, soon-to-be ex-President Donald Trump is refusing to offer any kind of meaningful public break from the lies that led to the violence. For months, Trump publicly claimed that the election had been rigged against him in favor of President-elect Joe Biden, despite the fact that there’s simply no legitimate evidence for this claim, and Trump reiterated similar claims during a rambling outdoor speech to a crowd of his supporters in D.C. shortly before the Capitol violence. Now, the Daily Beast reports that Trump is still belligerently ranting behind-the-scenes about imaginary election fraud.
According to the Daily Beast, “Two sources familiar with the matter said that in recent days, Trump is still going on and on behind closed doors about Dominion voting machine conspiracy theories and how he won in a landslide and therefore Biden is an illegitimate president.” Trump has also “repeatedly—sometimes unprompted—ruled out making any statements that Biden won, emphasizing that he will “never” admit such a thing,” the publication adds. Trump has issued a handful of public statements in the time since the Capitol rioting unfolded, but nowhere in these statements has there been any kind of acknowledgment of the role that his own lies about the election played in inciting the violence.
The Daily Beast characterized these events as unfolding in a “near-empty” White House. At this point, with just days left in the Trump presidency, the president’s “staff was a husk compared to what it was just over a week ago, following a series of high-profile resignations from the administration last week and a steep plummet in morale in the building since the deadly riot,” according to the publication’s reporting. Even two Cabinet secretaries, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, resigned from the administration in the wake of the Capitol rioting.
When rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, Congress was inside, going through the motions of officially confirming the electoral college outcome, meaning Biden’s victory. The riot left members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence himself, who was on the scene, in potential serious danger. In a statement on his since-removed Twitter account, Trump justified what took place, insisting that “these are the things and events that happen” when an election victory is stolen — which, of course, did not actually happen, no matter Trump’s insistent claims otherwise.