White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has rejected the narrative that President Donald Trump is responsible for the violence at the Capitol on Wednesday, calling it “tragic” but not Trump’s fault.
On Friday, Navarro had a message for Republicans who are blaming the president, saying they “just need to shut up,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“What I see now, the Nikki Haleys and Mitt Romneys, even Lindsey Graham, these people just need to shut up,” he told Fox Business Network’s Charles Payne. “What happened was tragic on Capitol Hill. It should not be laid at the feet of President Donald J. Trump.”
Trump called for the violence to stop, but critics said his comments didn’t go far enough in condemning the violence. Twitter and Facebook have banned Trump indefinitely from the platform in the aftermath.
Following the riot at the Capitol on Wednesday, Trump pledged a peaceful transition of power to the Biden administration on Jan. 20 and said he would spend the next two weeks working toward a smooth transition.
That wasn’t enough for Democrats and a few Republicans, however, who called for Trump’s immediate resignation, for Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, or impeachment.
It doesn’t appear that any of those three demands have gained traction, however.
Pence said he would not use the 25th Amendment against Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he would not hold an impeachment trial before Jan. 20, and Trump has refused calls to resign with only days left in his term.
Trump also called for the prosecution of those who forced their way into the Capitol, fought with police and caused damage. Five people died in the riot, including one Capitol police officer injured by a protester and one protester who was shot and killed by police.
Navarro defends Trump
Navarro defended Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results, referring to reports Navarro released recently that detailed claims of election fraud.
“All the president has been doing since Nov. 3, as I document in two reports, ‘The Immaculate Deception’ and ‘The Art of The Steal,’ is get to the bottom of what half of this country thinks was a stolen election,” Navarro said, referencing two reports he wrote since the election in which he detailed what he says is evidence of election fraud that took place in the presidential election.
Nevertheless, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has even suggested that Trump should be criminally prosecuted for the riot. “[H]e has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him,” she told CBS’s 60 Minutes, adding that “nothing is off the table.”