Ivanka Trump Deletes Tweet Calling Capitol Rioters 'Patriots' Then Adds 'Violence Is Unacceptable'
"You're saying these people are 'patriots' ??" a reporter wrote back to her initial tweet, to which Ivanka claimed that she was being misunderstood
President Donald Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump drew near immediate backlash online on Wednesday for a deleted tweet calling the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol — interrupting the ratification of the Electoral College vote for President-elect Joe Biden and forcing lockdown of congressional offices — "American Patriots."
"Any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable," Ivanka, 39, initially wrote before removing the tweet.
"The violence must stop immediately. Please be peaceful," Ivanka had tweeted.
"You're saying these people are 'patriots' ??" a CNN reporter wrote back to her, to which Ivanka claimed that she was being misunderstood.
"No. Peaceful protest is patriotic. Violence is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms," she wrote.
Her comments came Wednesday afternoon, as she retweeted her father's call for peace at the Capitol — a jarring reversal after Trump encouraged his same supporters to express their anger at his election loss.
In a subsequent video statement, the president told the rioters, "we love you, you're very special," and repeated his evidence-free claims that the November election was stolen from him. He added, "we have to have peace, so go home." (The video has been removed or restricted from social channels including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, due to "risk of violence.")
The chaos began earlier Wednesday afternoon as a large crowd of Trump supporters, who had gathered that day to protest the joint session of Congress certifying Biden's win, moved en masse to the Capitol and outnumbered Capitol police.
There they breached the building — breaking windows — and entered the congressional chambers as well as lawmaker offices, with reports of gunfire and injuries as well as numerous photos of looting and vandalism.
Senators and representatives were evacuated to a safe location and the joint session was suspended, according to reporters on the scene.
One image showed a rioter in the seat typically reserved on the Senate floor for the vice president, Mike Pence.
The mob pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol building just after 1 p.m. local time. At 3:36 p.m., White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that the president had sent in the National Guard and the mayor of Washington, D.C., instituted a curfew.
In a speech, Biden condemned the insurrectionary behavior and violence.
"President [Donald] Trump, step up," he said from Wilmington, Delaware, where he has been preparing his incoming administration.
"At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. An assault in the citadel of liberty, the capital itself," Biden said, adding, "An assault on the people’s representatives and the Capitol Hill Police sworn to protect them. An assault on the rule of law like few times we’ve ever seen it. An assault on the most sacred of American undertakings, the doing of people’s business."
"Let me be very clear, the scenes at the Capitol do not reflect the true America," Biden said. "What we’re seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent, it’s chaos.”
He directly called on Trump to "go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Consitution and demand an end to this siege," saying, "It must end now."