President Donald Trump for the first time acknowledged his electoral defeat amid growing talk in Washington of trying to force him from office early in the aftermath of the pro-Trump mob’s siege of the U.S. Capitol.
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Politics from around the world.
Twitter Bans Trump, Citing Risk of Incitement
Twitter says it is banning President Donald Trump from its platform, citing “risk of further incitement of violence.”
The social media giant said Friday: “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Trump was locked out of his account on his preferred social medial platform for 12 hours earlier this week after a violent mob loyal to him stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to stop Congress from affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Trump posted a video on Twitter calling them “very special” people and saying he loved them. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.
Late Friday, Trump tweeted from the White House account criticizing Twitter's move. Those tweets were taken down and his comments were then released by the White House as an official statement.
Later, Twitter suspended the account of the Trump campaign.
Republican Sen. Murkowski Calls on Trump to Resign
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has become the first Republican member of the Senate to call for President Donald Trump’s resignation.
The Alaska Republican tells the Anchorage Daily News that she wants Trump to resign after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing a lockdown. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.
Murkowski said in a telephone interview Friday: “I want him out. He has caused enough damage.” She also questioned whether she wanted to remain a Republican.
She says many people felt she became an independent when she lost her Republican primary in 2010 but won the general election by write-in. She has been in the Senate since 2002, replacing her father, Frank Murkowski, who took office in 1981.
“If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.
She adds, “He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing.”
'Traitor!': Trump Supporters Harangue Sen. Lindsey Graham at Airport
Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of President Donald Trump's top Republican allies during his four years in office, was swarmed by Trump supporters blasting him as a "traitor" at a Washington, D.C., airport on Friday.
"Lindsey Graham, you are a traitor to the country! You know it was rigged!" one of the Trump supporters screamed as Graham, who was flanked by police officers, briskly walked through the airport. "You garbage human being! It's going to be like this forever, wherever you go!" the woman yelled as other supporters recorded the encounter on their phones and laughed.
Video of the encounter — which went viral on social media — showed at least six Trump supporters circling around the South Carolina senator. The woman who was yelling later tweeted that he'd missed his flight.
Justice Dept.: 13 Charged in Federal Court Following Riot at US Capitol
The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday said 13 people have been charged with crimes related to the U.S. Capitol riot in which pro-Trump supporters stormed the historic building.
The defendants were charged Thursday, the Justice Department said.
“Today’s charges are just the beginning of the FBI’s ongoing efforts to hold those responsible for the criminal acts of violence and destruction that unfolded during the U.S. Capitol building breach,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “To be clear, what took place that day was not First Amendment-protected activity, but rather an affront on our democracy."
Those named by the agency as charged: Cleveland Meredith; Richard Barnett, of Arkansas; Lonnie Coffman, of Alabama; Mark Leffingwell; Christopher Alberts, of Maryland; Joshua Pruitt; Matthew Council, of Florida; Cindy Fitchett, of Virginia; Michael Curzio, of Florida; Douglas Sweet, of Florida; Bradley Ruskelas, of Illinois; Terry Brown, of Pennsylvania; and Thomas Gallagher.
Additionally, about 40 others have been arrested and charged with crimes including unlawful entry, curfew violations and firearms-related crimes.
Pro-Trump Rioter Photographed in Pelosi's Office Arrested in Arkansas
A man photographed sitting with his foot on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office at the U.S. Capitol while a mob of pro-Trump loyalists paraded through the halls of Congress was arrested Friday, law enforcement officials said, NBC News reports.
Richard Barnett, 60, of Gravette, Arkansas, was taken into custody in his home state on charges of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry and theft of public property, according to a Justice Department official. Further details were not immediately available.
Trump Will Not Attend Inauguration; Biden Says Pence 'Welcome'
President Donald Trump announced Friday he would not attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, as is tradition for the outgoing president to help convey a peaceful transfer of power.
In a Friday tweet Trump said, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Trump will be the first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson in 1869 to skip his successors inauguration. Two other outgoing presidents — John Adams in 1801 and John Quincy Adams in 1829 — also refused to attend the incoming president's ceremony.
Trump offered no clues for how he would spent his final hours in office. Biden will become president at noon on Jan. 20 regardless of Trump’s plans.
Biden said Vice President Mike Pence was "welcome" at his inauguration, while also saying he agreed with President Donald Trump's decision to not come.
"The vice president is welcome to come. We'd be honored to have him there," Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware.
Biden said at his news conference that he was told about Trump's decision and quipped it was "one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on."
Rioters Stole Laptops From Offices of Democratic Leaders
Pro-Trump rioters who invaded the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday stole at least two laptops and one iPad from the offices of three Democratic lawmakers.
House Majority Whip Clyburn reported his iPad stolen on Wednesday, according to NBC News, but it was later discovered that a staffer moved it to a more secure location and is "safe and sound."
It wasn't immediately clear what protections were on those devices to safeguard any sensitive information they may contain.
Republicans Recoil From Missouri Sen. Hawley After Siege
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley is being scolded and blamed for Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol. Hawley’s political mentor, former Sen. John Danforth, says supporting him was the “worst decision” he’s ever made.
“Supporting Josh Hawley ... was the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life,” Danforth told The Associated Press on Thursday. “He has consciously appealed to the worst. He has attempted to drive us apart and he has undermined public belief in our democracy. And that’s great damage.”
The 41-year-old first-term senator has rapidly emerged as one of President Donald Trump’s most loyal backers in Congress, and he staged an Electoral College challenge that became the focus of a violent siege of the Capitol. No politician has been more publicly blamed for Wednesday’s unprecedented assault on American democracy than Hawley.
As he walked into the Capitol on Wednesday, Hawley cheered on pro-Trump protesters gathering outside the building with a thumbs up and fist pump. When the Senate reconvened after pro-Trump mobs interrupted proceedings during the deadly siege, Hawley pushed forward with objections to the results of a legitimate democratic election.
At least one major donor has turned on Hawley, now calling him a “political opportunist” and urging the Senate to censure him. And one home-state newspaper editorial board declared he has “blood on his hands.”
Pelosi Asks Top General About Preventing Trump Military Actions
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing President Donald Trump from initiating military actions or a nuclear strike.
Pelosi said in a statement to colleagues that she spoke with Gen. Mark Milley “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”
She said, the situation of “this unhinged President could not be more dangerous.”
Pelosi is meeting with the House Democratic caucus Friday to consider impeachment proceedings against the president.
She and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer have called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to to force Trump from office. It’s a process for removing the president and installing the vice president to take over.
Pelosi: Those Responsible for Capitol Officer's Death 'Must Be Brought to Justice'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says those responsible for police officer Brian Sicknick’s death from the siege at the Capitol by a mob loyal to President Donald Trump “must be brought to justice.”
Pelosi said Friday she was lowering flags at the Capitol in his honor.
Sicknick died “after defending the Capitol complex and protecting those who serve and work here. The perpetrators of Officer Sicknick’s death must be brought to justice,” she said.
A senior Department of Justice official confirmed to NBC News that there is a federal death investigation into the events surrounding Sicknick's death.
Pro-Trump supporters were urged on by the president Wednesday to the Capitol where Congress was tallying the Electoral College votes to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s election.
Five people are now dead from the violent melee.
“The violent and deadly act of insurrection targeting the Capitol, our temple of American Democracy, and its workers was a profound tragedy and stain on our nation’s history,” Pelosi said.
House Dems Discussing Swift Action to Impeach Trump
House Democratic leaders say the House could take up articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as soon as next week if Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet don’t act to remove him.
Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark of Massachusetts says the House “can use procedural tools to get articles of impeachment to the House floor quickly,” as early as the coming week, if Pence doesn’t invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
Rep. James Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, says he can confirm that “we have had discussions about it.” The South Carolina Democrat says he hopes Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “would move forward if the vice president refuses to do what he is required to do under the Constitution. Everyone knows that this president is deranged.”
The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare a president unfit for office. That section of the amendment has never been invoked.
More Trump Administration Officials Resign After Trump-Fueled Riot
Five officials at the Federal Aviation Administration, the entire non-career political staff except the agency's administrator, have resigned, according to an email sent by the FAA's chief-of-staff to senior managers on Thursday evening and obtained by NBC News.
"This evening, the Secretary and the Administrator received resignation letters from all our non-career staff members here at FAA. These resignations will be effective Monday evening. Our colleagues’ decisions, given the gravity of yesterday’s events, are understandable. Like all of us, they are outraged by the brazen and violent attack on one of the sacred institutions of American democracy," said Angela Stubblefield.
The assistant secretary for mental health and substance use, Elinore F. McCance-Katz, at the Department of Health and Human Services also resigned on Thursday, according to a statement she released. She said that she had planned to stay on until Biden became president but her plans "abruptly changed" after she saw the violent takeover of the Capitol.
"I believe that this behavior was totally unacceptable and, in my own heart, I simply am not able to continue," she wrote, and then subtly implied that Trump is to blame. "Because I believe that the mental health of our people has suffered so greatly under the stresses of COVID-19, the social justice issues that have been so painful for so many, and now with the rending of our nation over questions raised about the presidential election, I cannot support language that results in incitement of violence and risks our very existence."
Recent Trump Administration Resignations
Source: NBC News, staff reports
US Capitol Police Officer Dies From Injuries Suffered During Riot
A U.S. Capitol Police officer died from injuries suffered during Wednesday's riot at the U.S. Capitol, NBC Washington reports.
Officer Brian D. Sicknick died about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a Capitol Police statement.
Sicknick was injured while physically engaged with protesters at the U.S. Capitol. He collapsed after returning to his division office and was taken to a hospital, police said.
He is the fifth person to have died in the violent riots.
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FBI Offering $50K for Information on DC Pipe Bomb Suspect
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a $50,000 reward for information on a suspect accused of placing pipe bombs in Washington, D.C., the agency announced Thursday night.
The pipe bombs were discovered at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee in D.C. on Wednesday afternoon, the agency said.
If you have any information concerning these incidents, contact the FBI's toll-free tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), or submit tips online at fbi.gov/USCapitol. You may also contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.