Former defence minister of the United States James Mattis has put the blame on Donald Trump for the deadly 6 January Capitol siege.
“There are also internal threats right now,” he said during an online event citing “the lack of unity on the consensual underpinnings of our democracy, and what we saw on Jan. 6, fomented by a sitting president”.
He has also named several national security threats such as North Korea, Russia, China and international terrorism.
On 6 January, thousands of rioters stormed the Capitol building in a bid to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's victory, following a speech delivered by Donald Trump. Five people died and more than 170 cases have been opened by police in connection to the riots. As a result, the US House of Representatives impeached Trump for "inciting insurrection". Trump has denied the charges and said his remarks were “totally appropriate”.
James Mattis, a former Marine four-star general, served under Trump from 2017 to 2019. He resigned after the president's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria. After that, he and Trump engaged in several spats, with the former defence secretary calling the then-president a threat to the US Constitution and Trump calling him “World’s most overrated general”.