13:22 GMT20 April 2021
Listen Live
    US
    Get short URL
    by
    2146
    Subscribe

    Former President Donald Trump staunchly defended his supporters who stormed the US Capitol on 6 January, insisting they posed “zero threat” and that they “love our country” as he spoke on Fox News on 1 April, comparing the November 2020 ballot casting to a “third-world election” and claiming the numbers had been “vastly” in his favour.

    Former POTUS Donald Trump continues to enjoy strong support among his GOP base, with 55 percent of Republicans believing that his loss to Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the November 2020 presidential election had resulted from ‘rigged’ voting, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.

    An overwhelming majority of Republicans – 81 percent - still view Trump favourably, with six in 10 believing he should run for president again in 2024.

    Donald Trump teased his supporters that he may "beat" Biden in 2024, when he appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando in late February.

    Approximately half of the GOP members polled by Ipsos between 30-31 March 2021 on behalf of Thomson Reuters agree with Donald Trump’s perception of the events on 6 January, which culminated with the storming of the US Capitol building.

    Among the sample of 1,005 Americans aged 18+ from the continental US, Alaska, and Hawaii, including 451 Democrats, 379 Republicans, and 119 independents interviewed online in English, 35 percent of Republicans believe the siege was “largely a non-violent protest” or carried out by left-wing activists “trying to make Trump look bad”.

    Police stand guard after a day of riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
    © AP Photo / Julio Cortez
    Police stand guard after a day of riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021

    While Donald Trump is seen as responsible for the events on 6 January at the Capitol by an overall 59 percent of respondents, only three in 10 Republicans blame Trump for the attack.

    80 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Independents do not consider the Capitol mayhem as having been nonviolent.

    Approximately 60 percent of Americans overall believe President Joe Biden won fairly in the presidential election.

    ‘Third-World Election’

    The poll came several days after Donald Trump defended the Capitol rioters during a Fox News interview on 25 March.

    Speaking on the Ingraham Angle, Donald Trump decried law enforcement for “persecuting” the rioters involved in the Capitol events of 6 January. While acknowledging that those who breached Capitol building “shouldn’t have done it”, Trump defended them, saying those who had entered the building were “hugging and kissing” the police and the guards, after being “waved in”.

    President Donald Trump speaks during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington
    © AP Photo / Evan Vucci
    President Donald Trump speaks during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington

    Donald Trump again reiterated that the November 2020 election had been ‘rigged’ and resembled a “third-world election”, while the ballots cast had been “vastly” in his favour.

    The ex-POTUS decried the fact that the Supreme Court had refused to overturn the election results, saying the justices “should be ashamed of themselves”.

    State and federal judges dismissed more than 50 lawsuits brought by Trump and his allies alleging voter fraud and other irregularities during last year’s election.

    The Republican National Committee said in a comment cited by Reuters that the GOP condemns the violence on 6 January and referred to a January statement by chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

    “Those who partook in the assault on our nation’s Capitol and those who continue to threaten violence should be found, held accountable, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” stated McDaniel.

    Capitol Mayhem

    On 6 January, soon after the then-president's speech at a "Stop the Steal" rally during which Trump repeated his allegations of election fraud, his supporters broke into the Capitol as a joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes to formalise Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential race.

    Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the US Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington
    © AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana
    Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the US Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington

    More than 140 people reportedly sustained injuries in the storming, with five, including one policeman, dying during or shortly after it.

    At least 200 individuals have been charged for participating in the Capitol riot, according to the media.
    Trump faced accusations from Democrats and even some of the Republicans of inciting the Capitol mayhem, despite himself having urged his supporters not to use violence.

    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a copy of The Washington Post as he speaks in the East Room of the White House one day after the U.S. Senate acquitted on two articles of impeachment, ion February 6, 2020 in Washington, DC
    © AFP 2021 / DREW ANGERER
    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a copy of The Washington Post as he speaks in the East Room of the White House one day after the U.S. Senate acquitted on two articles of impeachment, ion February 6, 2020 in Washington, DC

    Nevertheless, the 45th president faced a second impeachment over the allegations, with the motion passing the House of Representatives.

    However, the US Senate acquitted Trump, as Republicans opposed the impeachment and botched an attempt to remove Trump from the White House and subsequently ban him from holding office in the future.

    Related:

    Ex-DOJ Official Claims Donald Trump in 'Serious Trouble' Over Alleged Role in Capitol Riot
    Donald Trump Makes 'Surprise Appearance' at Sarah Sanders' Arkansas Campaign Event
    Trump Says Republicans Must Fight Back, Boycott Companies Amid Voting Law Tensions
    Trump Refunds $122 Mln in Donations amid Rash of Fraud Complaints
    Churchgoers Cheer as Donald and Melania Trump Attend Easter Service, Media Says
    Tags:
    GOP, GOP, US Capitol, US Capitol, Ipsos, US Election 2020, Joe Biden, Donald Trump
    Community standardsDiscussion