A defiant President Donald Trump insisted Tuesday his speech inciting the riot at the US Capitol was "totally appropriate" while at the same time calling for "no violence" in his first public remarks to reporters after the insurrection last week.
Speaking at Joint Base Andrews before departing for Texas, Trump falsely said those who'd analyzed his remarks had found no fault in them.
"It's been analyzed," he said. "People thought what I said was totally appropriate."
Instead, Trump claimed the "real problem" is what other politicians said about protests over the summer in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
Trump, in an aside, said "you always have to avoid violence."
The President also denounced Democrats pursuing his historic second impeachment, seeming to imply they could provoke a violent response.
"This impeachment is causing tremendous anger, and you're doing it and it's really a terrible thing that they're doing," he told reporters on the White House South Lawn. "For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it's causing tremendous danger to our country, and it's causing tremendous anger. I want no violence."
Trump's remarks on the White House South Lawn were his first in days and his first engagement with reporters in weeks.
He has isolated himself in the White House following riots at the US Capitol that he incited during a rally in the hour beforehand.
Trump was slow to condemn the protests, which he watched on television from the dining room next to the Oval Office. He was convinced by advisers that a forceful denunciation of his own supporters was necessary, both because he was facing removal from office and because he faces potential legal questions about his role in inciting the riots.
Later, Trump appeared to some aides to regret taping a video in which he denounced the violence and conceded he would not be serving a second term in office.
Trump spent the weekend largely in isolation, as aides either distanced themselves from him or limited their time in his presence. Trump canceled a planned trip to Camp David, where his closest aides were hoping he would get into a good mindset ahead of his final stretch in office. Instead, he spent the weekend stewing to his deputy chief of staff, Dan Scavino, and entered his final full week angrier than ever.