In his first public appearance since the Capitol siege, Trump expresses no contrition for inciting the mob.
Earlier, he asserted that it was the impeachment charge, not the violence and ransacking of the Capitol, that was “causing tremendous anger.”
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Mr. Trump had been largely silent since Friday, when Twitter permanently suspended his account. When asked directly on Tuesday morning if he would resign with just nine days left in office, Mr. Trump said, “I want no violence.”
He did not address his own role in inciting the mob of his supporters. Instead, Mr. Trump framed himself as a victim, calling impeachment a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”
“I think it’s causing tremendous anger,” he said.
The aim of the trip to the border with Mexico is to promote the partially built border wall, which the Trump administration views as an accomplishment. He visited a portion of the border wall in nearby Alamo, along the Rio Grande, where he gave a brief speech before heading back to Washington.
“The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me,” he said. “But it will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for.”
Reading from a script, Mr. Trump briefly addressed the mob attack on the Capitol, noting “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.”
Across the street from the McAllen airport, pedestrian fences were placed where the president’s motorcade was expected to travel. Vehicles from the McAllen Police Department and the U.S. Border Patrol, as well as unidentified unmarked vehicles, patrolled the area ahead of Mr. Trump’s arrival.
At the Aztek Barber Shop in Alamo, Alejandro Silva, 27, said he held nothing against Mr. Trump and did not have an opinion about the border wall.
“But he shouldn’t be visiting now,” said Mr. Silva, a mechanic. “He should leave office and leave everyone alone.”
The president’s supporters were planning two parades on Tuesday in Harlingen and McAllen, but a coalition of anti-border wall activists, led by La Unión del Pueblo Entero, circulated a petition to urge politicians to cancel Mr. Trump’s trip to Alamo.
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“We cannot allow Trump to bring his racist mob to the Rio Grande Valley,” said John-Michael Torres, a spokesman for the organizers.
In response to fears, Mayor Jim Darling of McAllen said in a statement: “I understand that emotions are high on both sides, for or against the President and I hope that if there are demonstrations for or against, that they are peaceful with respect to our law enforcement personnel.”
The New York Times