#GoodMorningDC, your daily briefing into power center Washington DC, is here. Cabinet members dust off the 25th amendment as they consider removing Trump from office the morning after his supporters stormed the Capitol yesterday afternoon.
Good Morning, DC.
Trump broke the camel's back yesterday. His party that only yesterday was on the way to becoming Trump's party turned on him. A source close to the President tells Good Morning DC that Cabinet members are meeting this morning to discuss using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.
Insiders into Trump's orbit, predict that there will be a wave of resignations in the next 24 hours. Stephanie Grisham was the first and the fastest one to do it. Trump's Social Secretary, the one who plans all social events for the President, Rickie, quit as well. Who's next? Sources tell Good Morning DC that O'Brian is approaching the exit doors.
Having the Social Secretary leave does not hurt Trump in the grand scheme of things, but Lindsey Graham turning on him does. "Count me out. Enough is enough", Lindsy Graham broke away from Trump on the Senate floor.
Lindsey never liked Trump, but he sucked up to him when it suited him. "All these guys are going to bail," a Washington insider told Good Morning DC. "None of them ever liked him. They were afraid of him".
And just like that, Trump went from Hero to Zero. Trump's fight for America is becoming a solemn family affair.
At The Ellipse, Lara Trump went first on stage to introduce her husband, Eric, who gave us a hint that she may end up running for Senate. She wished Eric a Happy Birthday. Eric’s wish for the Congress and Senate was to "stand up for this country and what is right." There was a Happy Birthday song breaking from the audience in one happily-ever-after family affair. But not for long.
Then came up Kimberly, who introduced Don Junior. "The fact that you are all here should be the message to all Republicans who were not willing to fight,” he started. Talking to the mass of people, he insisted that this gathering should send a message to the disloyal House and Senate Republicans: “This is not their Republican party anymore. This is Donald Trump's party.”
A closer glimpse at Trump's children shows not much difference from Trump. “You can be a hero, or you can be zero,” Don said.
“Fight for Trump,” chants broke out.
“That's right, guys, as if you don't— You know what, I am going to be in your backyard in a couple of months,” Don Jr continued. “If you are going to be Zero and not a Hero, we are coming for you.”
Politics of intimidation happened in plain sight. Are you a friend or foe? Republicans were placed under a choice to pick a side for the future of the party.
Enter Donald Trump.
“We will never concede,” Trump offered from the get-go, accusing the Democrats and the media of stealing the election from him. “Our country had it enough,” he spoke his words into the wind, promising to lay out the evidence in the House and Senate. He told the mass of Republicans who came from all over the country that “We will stop the steal.”
“Fight for Trump,” chants broke out yet again.
“All Pence has to do is to send it back to the States to decertify, and I become the President, and you are happy,” Trump pumped up the dramatics, directing the TV networks to turn the cameras and show the power in the number of protestors.
He reiterated a threat to those Republicans who refuse to obey. What’s chilling is that the threats were happening on a grand stage and in the open by the leader of the free world.
“We do not have a free and fair press,” Trump said, repeating several times and reiterating that the press is “the enemy of the people”.
Then, he stated the idea that it would end up in history books. He asked people to walk onto the Capitol and cheer for “brave Republicans”. He encouraged the protestors to March on the Capitol in order to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
"We are going to see if they will stay strong for the country," Trump continued, adding that America is “under siege.” He admitted that he thought that four more years would be easy.
“History is going to be made. We are going to see if we have courageous leaders or those who should be ashamed,” Trump offered a new political dichotomy.
“Never forget,” Trump said.
“We will lay out the case for the whole world to see. Do you want to hear it?” His question was rhetorical. He went on with a long list of grievances. He called on Congress to pass the legislation on the election reform. “This is just getting started,” he said. “We must stop the steal,” he repeated. He went on and on and on. The mass was prepared to march on the Capitol.
Early in the day, before the dam broke, Grenell offered a perspective against the backdrop of the lost Senate in Georgia primaries. “The Democrats controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House for the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. They overreached then - and their party is even more Left today. Rest up and get ready to fight back,” he tweeted.
Trump’s presidency leitmotif to “fight back” MAGA took from words to action, storming the US capitol in great numbers and sweeping anger. Capitol police were unprepared for what was coming. What ensued were the pictures that showed to the world that Trump’s supporters are ready to crash and burn for the President.
America is used to being shown video images of protestors taking to the streets to storm the government's heart as the symbol of democracy at work and freedom fighting in autocracies worldwide, but it was not prepared to see the same method of insurrection on the streets of Washington DC.
American senators and members of Congress were all transferred to secure locations. Cameras were not allowed in, and the only news that could come out from the inside of the US Capitol was through the phone, Congress members and senators giving updates, but in reality, they did not know what was happening or how it would end up.
On the Capitol Building’s side stairs, groups of men shuffled to the front as others streamed away with red faces and squinted eyes. Protesters raised on bleachers saw them coming and instructed the crowd to “MOVE— MAKE A PATH.”
The line of protesters inched stair-by-stair up the face of the historic building, pushing bewildered police officers to call in for back up. The police stood on the balcony overlooking the masses and fired tear gas and flashbangs over the crowd. The protesters felt that some fire was coming from individuals within the protest targeted back at the police. Once the line had breached the scaffolding currently set up for the January 20th inauguration, which has since been canceled, protesters streamed through the structure.
There was cheering. There was anarchy. One man deliberately toppled sound system equipment, only after telling other protesters to watch their feet.
Reinforcements kept pouring in, but the majority stepped foot on the stage, snapped some photographs, and turned around to attempt to leave. One woman announced that the protesters had breached the capitol and were inside destroying things. The crowd grumbled and chose whether to leave immediately, continue up to the inaugural stage before turning around, or taking a look inside the Capitol themselves.
Trump overplayed his hand. He encouraged his supporters to walk up to the US Capitol.
Four people died. A woman veteran and Trump supporter who came to DC all the way from San Diego got shot, likely by a senior US Capitol police officer. To make the tragedy worse, she did not survive. Fourteen police officers got injured.
Trump’s close associate told Good Morning DC: “I’m sick to my stomach. Embarrassed, angry and disgusted. A sad day in what used to be the greatest country in the world”.
The peaceful transfer of power de facto did not turn out to be peaceful, and this killing will be a forever stain on the American nation's fabric. The biggest problem of all this is that the whole world saw the scenes on Capitol Hill. The world also knows that the people restore to rioting and political violence when they lose faith in the country's legal and political system.
“In the old days, Americans would hold up a rally sign as the opponent's motorcade drove by. Now, they are reeling onto the Senate floor. What happened?, A former White House official in the Trump administration told Good Morning DC. “These people are a different kind of a Republican,” he added.
The history of Europe is full of such examples; when citizens cannot change something legally, they riot, and these are the examples from Serbia 2000, Ukraine, Belarus.
International response kept pouring in.
Boris Johnson was the first to react to the scenes at the US Capitol. “Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. 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,” he stated.
Nigel Farage, Trump's best friend across the pond who told me when I interviewed him that Trump "will be the absolute winner of the 2020 Election" condemned the storming of the Capitol.
“Storming Capitol Hill is wrong. The protesters must leave,” he tweeted.
“We believe in democracy,” Macron said in a video statement.
Trudeau’s message was emotional. “Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbor. Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld - and it will be,”, he stated.
Former US Presidents Carter, Bush, and Obama offered their words to the nation.
This morning, pressures to invoke the 25th amendment mount from the Democrats. A source tells Good Morning DC that Cabinet members are meeting this morning to discuss Article 25 of the Constitution to remove Donald Trump.
"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th," Trump said in the statement. "I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.
Trump broke the camel's back. He may as well go down in history as the first president on whom the 25th amendment was evoked.
“Our country has been simmering for a long time. I for one thought the pot needed to be stirred and that perhaps Trump was the right one to do it. He could have been one of the great ones but he surrounded himself with some bad people, inexperienced and in it for themselves. And, he just couldn’t rise to the occasion", Trump’s confidant told Good Morning DC.
And that’s a wrap on this gloom Thursday morning. It's a new dawn in our power center globally, but the sight is pitch black.
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