President Donald Trump may be facing a permanent ban from Twitter, but that isn’t stopping him from finding a way around the ban. Just after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him for a historic second time, the president made his return to the social media platform with a video shared to the White House Twitter account urging no further violence following the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In the more-than-five-minute-long video, which was also shared on YouTube, the lame-duck president denounced the Capitol attack as an incursion that "struck at the very heart of our republic," adding, "I unequivocally condemned the violence that we saw last week." Speaking from behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, he said "violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement," stating that the "Making America great again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement and upholding our nation's most sacred traditions and values." Mob violence, he said, "goes against everything I believe in, and everything our movement stands for."
Although the president vowed that those involved in the Capitol attack "will be brought to justice," he did not mention the article of impeachment brought against him, accusing him of inciting an insurrection. He did, however, discuss "the unprecedented assaults on free speech," which he said, "are wrong and they are dangerous." He called on Americans to "listen to one another, not to silence one another" and "choose by our actions to rise above the rancor and find common ground and shared purpose… to overcome the passions of the moment, and join together as one American people."
On Jan. 8, just two days after the attack on the Capitol, Twitter announced it had "permanently suspended" the president's personal account "due to the risk of further incitement of violence." Several other accounts were banned as the president attempted to circumvent the ban, with the company telling The Verge it would attempt to limit the use of even government accounts, such as the official White House account, if Trump tried to use them to evade his ban. In response to concerns regarding the Thursday video, Twitter told NBC reporter Dylan Byers that the clip does not "demonstrably engage in ban evasion or share content that otherwise violates the Twitter Rules."
This was nothing more than an effort by Trump's lawyers to help protect from future prosecution for his role in last week's insurrection on Capitol Hill. Everything he said in this video was a total lie. Had he cared about unity, he would have accepted he LOST the election.— MURRAY🧢🇺🇸 (@murray_nyc) January 13, 2021
When you’re scared to death of being convicted by the Senate.— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) January 13, 2021
Such a pity you kept quiet for hours while the mob was ransacking the Capitol.— Clive Wismayer 🇪🇺🇳🇱 (@CliveWismayer) January 14, 2021
So glad he condemns the violence a week late. Oh and the rule of law. Laughable.— Denise In NC - 2021 Told 2020 “Hold My Beer” (@DeniseInNC) January 13, 2021
Bro you can’t say this a week after you say “we love you, you’re very special” and expect people to believe it https://t.co/47cctPwWJs— FINNEAS (@finneas) January 14, 2021
I keep reading that Trump has been banned from twitter, yet here he is in my feed: https://t.co/wJjYXuKx8I— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) January 13, 2021
I listened to the whole speech. I hoped for some acknowledgment that Biden won the election, to ward off further violence. It didn’t come. Just complaints about internet censorship. My heart is heavy, and I fear for our brave Guard troops.— Lesley Carhart (@hacks4pancakes) January 14, 2021
W. T. A. F.
“too many mobs” no buster, only one mob. One mob that you invited and encouraged!
This speech does not exonerate you of what happened January 6th, 2021. You are still responsible for those riots and that mob, and those 5 dead people!— Dan. Dan Fielding. (@bettylooper) January 13, 2021
Too little too late.— Ross Colquhoun (@rosscolquhoun) January 13, 2021
History will remember this as the "Can I Tweet Again Now Speech" https://t.co/chSa3y9SIO— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 13, 2021
The guy who demonized reporters as “fake news” and repeatedly threatened the news media is now a free speech advocate. https://t.co/afOTNcLrkQ— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) January 13, 2021