President visits Texas, takes no responsibility for riot.
ALAMO, Texas — President Donald Trump on Tuesday made his first appearance in public since the Capitol siege last week, arriving in Texas to promote his immigration policies but taking no responsibility for his part in fomenting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week
This was despite his comments encouraging supporters to march on the Capitol and praise for them while they were still carrying out the assault.
“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump said.
Alamo, in the Rio Grande Valley near the Mexican border, is the site of the 450th mile of the border wall his administration is building. On his visit, Trump brushed off Democratic calls on his Cabinet to declare him unfit for office and remove him from power using the 25th Amendment.
“The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me, but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration,” Trump said. “As the expression goes, be careful of what you wish for.”
“It’s time for peace and for calm,” Trump said Tuesday, less than a week after egging on the mob that descended on the Capitol. He added, “Respect for law enforcement is the foundation of the MAGA agenda,” referencing his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Trump said the “real problem” was not his rhetoric last week, but the talk that Democrats used to describe Black Lives Matter
protests and violence in Seattle and Portland this summer.
Trump lashed out at lawmakers’ push for his second impeachment this week, claiming, “It’s causing tremendous anger and division and pain far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time.”
While Trump was traveling, Vice President Mike Pence assured the nation’s governors that the outgoing administration is working diligently with Biden’s team. He thanked the governors for their leadership on the coronavirus and promised them a “seamless transition.”
In Texas, Trump delivered remarks highlighting his administration’s efforts to curb immigration and the progress made on his signature 2016 campaign promise: a wall across the length of the southern border — an imposing structure made of con
crete and reinforced steel.
But over time, Trump demanded modifications that have been largely rejected: He wanted it painted black to burn the hands of those who touched it; he wanted it adorned with spikes; he even wanted to surround it with an alligator-filled moat. While he promised that it would be funded by Mexico, U.S. taxpayers footed the bill.
In the end, his administration has overseen the construction of roughly 450 miles of border wall construction — likely reaching 475 miles by Inauguration Day. The vast majority of that wall has replaced smaller barriers that already existed, though the new wall is considerably more difficult to bypass.
Trump warned that a reversal of his policies by Biden would bring about a “tidal wave of illegal immigration.” He added, “To terminate those policies is
knowingly to put America in really serious danger.”
Biden has said he’d halt construction of the wall and take executive action where possible to reverse some of Trump’s restrictions on legal immigration and asylum-seekers. But Biden and his aides have acknowledged the possibility of a new crisis at the border if they act too quickly, and Biden has said it could take six months for his administration to secure funding and put in place the necessary infrastructure to loosen Trump-era restrictions.
Trump credited his wall for a drop in illegal border crossings from a 13-year high in 2019, but the Government Accountability Office has found the administration lacks measures to correlate drops in illegal crossings to wall construction.
Trump said incorrectly that he inherited “open borders” from his predecessor, Barack Obama. He leaves office with about the same number of Border Patrol agents than when he began, despite a pledge to add 5,000, and the monthly number of migrants stopped at the border exceeds totals during much of Obama’s tenure.