Former US President Donald Trump has refused to back down against the allegation that his baseless claims of a “stolen election” in 2020 sparked violence on Capitol Hill after losing to Joe Biden. As he prepares for the Republican Party’s nomination for president again in 2024, Mr Trump said his opponents of the Democratic Party, too, have previously spoken of “stolen” elections, which he won in 2016.
“Democrats say I stole the election in 2016, which I didn’t,” Trump claimed. He did not say which Democrat claimed “stolen”. The party’s leadership congratulated Trump in 2016 expressing dismay at the loss of Hillary Clinton.
Trump supporters riot on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Asked whether he agreed with the democratic principle of accepting defeat, he said, “I agree with it,” but reiterated his claim: “We are not defeated.”
Asked frankly why he still insists on that, he said: “Two weeks ago, it came out, Facebook chief (Mark) Zuckerberg said the FBI came to him and told him, “This Russian propaganda.” But, ‘No, say anything’… they suppressed it.”
He was likely referring to Mark Zuckerberg’s recent statement on the podcast, in which he said that, ahead of the 2020 election, the FBI warned his company against “any kind of dump” that didn’t feature prominently on the social network. Should get This was just before stories emerged about a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden – the son of eventual winner Joe Biden – containing data on dealings with Russian and Chinese businessmen. US officials have since said that the laptop is “not part of some Russian campaign” and that there is no political corruption.
But Mr Trump is keen to back charges that Russia helped him in the elections. The investigation so far – concluding that Russian entities spread propaganda on social media to help the 2016 Trump campaign – has not found whether Mr. Trump was directly involved.
“Our country is going to hell,” Trump said in an NDTV interview, referring to Joe Biden’s administration and the Democratic Party. “When you look at what’s happened in the United States in the two years (of Joe Biden’s tenure so far), we’ve never been in a situation like this.”
Trump supporters on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.
He was asked whether he was aware that his claims of an “illegal” election could have violent consequences – such as the storming of the US government headquarters by his supporters shortly after his election defeat on January 6, 2021. He responded: “Democrats have said that for a long time about separate elections … the same people who complain now were the big complainers about 2016.”
For the January 6 “rebellion”, nearly 900 arrests have been made so far, more than 300 people have been convicted, but the main part remains to be investigated – whether Donald Trump knew his “stolen” Claims will lead to violence. Mr Trump denied he knew.