Arnold Schwarzenegger has hit out at Donald Trump and compared rioters at the US Capitol to Nazis who have brought the country to an “unforgivable point”.
Schwarzenegger, who was the governor of California as a member of the Republican Party, said in a video on Twitter Trump misled people “with lies” and “is a failed leader”.
“President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever,” the Hollywood actor said in the video.
Thousands stormed the US Capitol building in Washington DC last week as Congress certified the result of the 2020 US election confirming Joe Biden’s presidency. Trump has made a number of unfounded claims the election results were fraudulent.
Many of the rioters are still being sought with a number arrested and facing jail time.
Schwarzenegger immigrated from Austria to the US in 1968 and recalled the Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, when Jewish people were attacked in 1938.
The broken glass refers to Jewish businesses and homes being destroyed and damaged during the violence.
He compared the attacks carried out by the Nazis as similar to those who rioted last week.
“Wednesday was the day of broken glass right here in the United States,” he said.
“The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol.
“But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol. They shattered the ideals we took for granted. They did not just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy. They trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.”
‘Proud Boys like Nazis’
Schwarzenegger said those who carried out the attacks in 1938 were “the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys”. The Proud Boys are a far-right group with links to political violence in the US and Canada.
The Hollywood actor’s father was also a member of the Nazi Party and Schwarzenegger has often claimed he was physically abusive.
My message to my fellow Americans and friends around the world following this week's attack on the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/blOy35LWJ5
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) January 10, 2021
“Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away their guilt with their participation in the most evil regime in history,” he said.
“Not all of them were rabid anti-Semites or Nazis. Many just went along step-by-step down the road. They were the people next door.”
He added his father and neighbours were also “misled with lies” similar to those perpetrated by Trump.
Schwarzenegger calls for reform
The US’s democracy has been tampered with, Schwarzenegger said but he believes “we will come out stronger because we now understand what can be lost”.
“We need reforms of course so that this never happens again,” he said.
“We need to hold accountable the people that brought us to this unforgivable point.
“And to those who think they can overturn the United States Constitution, know this. You will never win.”
The riots have been widely condemned with five people dead from the violence.
Among them was police officer Brian Sicknick who was responding to the riots and his death is now subject to a murder investigation.
The riots also led to the permanent suspension of Trump’s Twitter account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”.
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