A six-month-old tweet from US President Donald Trump threatening imprisonment during the Black Lives Matter protests has resurfaced after thousands of incensed protesters stormed Capitol Hill in “unprecedented” violent scenes.
In July, Trump warned anyone found to have vandalised federal property would face at least 10 years behind bars.
“Anarchists, Agitators or Protestors who vandalize or damage our Federal Courthouse in Portland, or any Federal Buildings in any of our Cities or States, will be prosecuted under our recently re-enacted Statues & Monuments Act. MINIMUM TEN YEARS IN PRISON. Don’t do it! @DHSgov,” he tweeted.
The tweet reappeared on Wednesday (local time) shortly after rioters broke into the US Capitol building, leaving a trail of destruction in their paths.
And while Trump’s twitter account was suspended on Wednesday for repeated inaccurate and misleading information regarding the US election results, thousands were seeking answers from the president on the platform if the same threat applied to his supporters.
Trump had earlier urged the rioters to leave peacefully in a video message however continued his baseless rhetoric that the election had been stolen from him and his supporters.
His tone was far more accomodating to those involved on Wednesday, after all it was his rally hours earlier that had spurred on the protesters to march on Capitol Hill.
NBA star Steph Curry was among those who criticised the president for this perceived double standard.
There is literally a tweet for everything. Cat got your tongue today huh? https://t.co/yKd8dgm2wn
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 6, 2021
okay donnie, are you gonna keep your word? or is it different now that it's your supporters doing this? https://t.co/9EZlTIe0Q9
— logan 🍀 (@lloganbowman) January 7, 2021
Ironic. But since they’re you’re supporters all you say is stay peaceful and that you love them. Hypocrite. https://t.co/L9WxIFyF8e
— zi (@queen_z_i) January 7, 2021
“There is literally a tweet for everything. Cat got your tongue today huh?” he wrote.
“Okay donnie, are you gonna keep your word? or is it different now that it's your supporters doing this?” another user asked.
“Ironic. But since they’re your supporters all you say is stay peaceful and that you love them. Hypocrite,” another said.
Congress resumes after Capitol rioting
Police declared the Capitol building secure shortly after 5.30pm and lawmakers reconvened shortly after 8pm to resume the election certification.
Vice president Mike Pence branded the violence on Wednesday as “unprecedented” as the Senate returned hours after the chaos.
“To those who wreaked havoc in our capital today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people's house,” he said, further distancing himself from the president.
Immediately after, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lashed out at those involved in the riots.
“The United States Senate will not be intimidated. We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs, or threats. We will not bow to the lawlessness or intimidation,” he said.
Former President George W. Bush, a Republican, said in a statement he was horrified by the narrative in the wake of the election in a damning message widely believed to be aimed at Trump.
"This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election," he said.
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