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Priti Patel Says Donald Trump’s Words “Directly Led To Violence” And Condemns Rioters For Storming The US Capitol

Home secretary Priti Patel has condemned the scenes of violence in Washington DC and blamed Donald Trump for causing them (PA)

4 min read

Donald Trump’s comments “directly led to the violence” which have seen four people die after violent supporters of the President stormed the US Capitol, Priti Patel has said.

The home secretary condemned the scenes in Washington DC last night and told BBC Breakfast the American president “helped to fuel that violence and he didn't do anything to de-escalate that whatsoever”.

Chaos and violence ensued outside the US Capitol Building in Washington DC on Wednesday where lawmakers were in the process of confirming Joe Biden as the President Elect. 

Donald Trump has repeatedly rejected November's election result and encouraged his supporters to do the same. “We will never give up; we will never concede,” he told crowds in Washington shortly before rioters stormed the Capitol, leading to the deaths of four people. 

“I think it's fair to say that his words were associated with violence, and his comments directly led to just the most appalling and terrible scenes that we've all been shocked by and we've all been witnessing," Patel told Radio 4's Today programme this morning. 

“And so far he's failed to condemn that violence and I actually think that's wrong.”

Trump shared two statements during Wednesday's violence, in which he implored his supporters leave the Capitol area, but did not condemn their action. 

“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us," he said in a video address released on Twitter. "This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you, you’re very special."

The UK government has faced criticism for being too slow to rebuff unfounded claims that Trump had won November's election and congratualte Joe Biden on his victory. 

Ms Patel said it was time to look ahead to Joe Biden's presidency, rather than focus on whether her Government got too close to Mr Trump, after being reminded of the warm words of some of her Cabinet colleagues towards the outgoing Commander in Chief.

She said: "The fact of the matter is, they are now transitioning to a new president, to a president-elect.

"The Prime Minister has already been in touch with Joe Biden and certainly congratulated him. I think on that basis alone we move forward with one of our greatest allies in the world.

"This isn't about going back and reflecting on personal relationships.

"The fact of the matter is: Donald Trump's words were associated with violence, his comments directly led to violence.

"And so far, he has failed to condemn that violence, and that is wrong."

But Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy told PoliticsHome: “The PM and senior members of the government have spent four years encouraging a President who consistently preached hate and division, scapegoated minorities and attacked and undermined democracy, in a desperate bid to become his closest ally. 

“Whether on trade, climate change or justice for Harry Dunn it produced absolutely nothing for Britain and degraded our reputation in the eyes of the rest of the world.”

Boris Johnson on Wednesday night labelled the scenes "disgraceful". The Prime Minister tweeted: "The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power."

The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called it “a direct attack on democracy and legislators carrying out the will of the American people”.

And reacting to the violence in Washington, where one woman was shot and killed, and three others dies, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Trump administration has “been a dark period in America's history”.

She told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "On one level I think what happened last night, what we witnessed last night, is not that surprising.

"In some senses Donald Trump's presidency has been moving towards this moment almost from the moment it started, but that doesn't make it any less shocking.

"What we witnessed weren't just scenes of horrible breaches of law and order, people taking over the seat of democracy, we actually witnessed the president of the United States inciting insurrection in his own country and I think for many people it will take some time to get our heads round that."

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