- Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said that he would no longer “defend” President Donald Trump following a pro-Trump riot in the Capitol building on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
- “At this point, I won’t defend him anymore,” said Fleischer, who voted for Trump last year. “I won’t defend him for stirring the pot that incited the mob. He’s on his own.”
- Fleischer, also a Fox News contributor, served as press secretary under then-President George W. Bush from January 2001 to July 2003.
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Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said that he would no longer “defend” President Donald Trump following a pro-Trump riot in the Capitol building on Wednesday that left five people dead, according to the Associated Press.
Fleischer, a Fox News contributor who served as press secretary under then-President George W. Bush from January 2001 to July 2003, has defended Trump in the past despite not supporting him in his 2016 campaign.
“At this point, I won’t defend him anymore,” said Fleischer, who voted for Trump last year. “I won’t defend him for stirring the pot that incited the mob. He’s on his own.”
Fleischer’s comments came after the Electoral College certification process that was set to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory on Wednesday was disrupted by legions of Trump-allied rioters who ransacked the historic building in the most significant breach since 1814.
Earlier that day, Trump urged his most ardent supporters, who still overwhelmingly accept the president’s debunked claims of mass voter fraud in the president election, to march to the Capitol.
Read more: President-elect Biden expressed confidence his inauguration will be safe. A few hours later, Twitter warned there’s talk of another DC Capitol attack on January 17th.
In October, Fleischer, in deciding to back Trump in the November election, wrote in The Hill that he saw the choice between the president and Biden as “between a personally offensive outsider who signs good policies and a professionally offensive politician who will turn bad ideas into law.”
He added at the time: “Say what you will about Trump violating norms, he has never tried to redo the balance of power by irregular means. But his policies will last decades, no matter or, perhaps thanks to, his personality.”
While numerous Democrats, from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California to incoming Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York, have called on the president to be removed from office, Republicans including Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have called for Trump to either be removed or resign.
House Democrats are gearing up for an impeachment vote next week, but Senate Republicans pointed to the small window remaining in Trump’s term to express doubts about the proposal.
“The Speaker knows this is not going to happen,” said GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri. “Schumer knows this isn’t going to happen. You don’t have the time for it to happen, even if there was a reason. So there’s no reason to debate this except just pure politics.”
Biden will assume office on January 20.