Fallout intensifies over Trump’s response to Capitol riot

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
See how the Capitol Riot on January 6 unfolded
04:49 - Source: CNN

What you need to know

  • The political fallout over President Trump’s response to the deadly Capitol attack continues to escalate as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office.
  • House Democrats are currently planning to introduce articles of impeachment against Trump as soon as Monday, sources say. Meanwhile, Twitter has permanently suspended Trump from its platform, the company said.
  • The Department of Justice announced 13 people are facing federal charges stemming from the riot as prosecutors continue to investigate the attack.

 Our live coverage has ended for the night. For the latest, follow CNN Politics.

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Twitter confirms that it deleted Trump's tweets from @POTUS account

Twitter said Friday evening that it took action against the four tweets that President Trump shared from the @POTUS account.

“As we’ve said, using another account to try to evade a suspension is against our rules,” said a Twitter spokesperson. “We have taken steps to enforce this with regard to recent Tweets from the @POTUS account. For government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we will not suspend those accounts permanently but will take action to limit their use.”

Earlier today: Twitter’s decision to suspend Trump’s account followed two tweets Friday afternoon that would end up being his last.

The tweets violated the company’s policy against the glorification of violence, Twitter said in a blog post, and “these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks.”

Trump's now-unavailable tweets hinted at plans for "our own platform"

The four-tweet thread that President Trump sent from @POTUS, which quickly vanished from Twitter, included hints of Trump’s involvement with a potential alternative platform to Twitter and other social media. 

“We have been negotiating with various other sites, and we will have a big announcement soon … while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be SILENCED!” Trump said in the now-unavailable tweets.

Earlier Friday, Twitter announced it had permanently suspended Trump from its platform.

The company also told CNN it will enforce its policy against ban evasions to ensure that Trump does not circumvent his personal account’s suspension.

“If it is clear that another account is being used for the purposes of evading a ban, it is also subject to suspension,” Twitter said in a statement. “For government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we will not suspend those accounts but will take action to limit their use. However, these accounts will be transitioned over to the new administration in due course and will not be suspended by Twitter unless absolutely necessary to alleviate real-world harm.”

Twitter’s policy would also prohibit Trump from directing a third party to operate a Twitter account on his behalf.

Cruz's former spokeswoman says she does not recognize him anymore

Cruz speaks at a campaign rally for Sen. Kelly Loeffler, on Saturday, January  2, in Cumming, Georgia.

A former communications director for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Amanda Carpenter, sharply criticized the Texas lawmaker today for his role in supporting President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and incite the attack on the Capitol. 

“The new Ted Cruz, post-Trump, is one I don’t recognize,” said Carpenter, who is a CNN contributor. “I can surmise he thinks he’s a smart lawyer who can parse his his way out of it, and in his mind he has some kind of rational but that’s just not believable.”

“He has to come to terms with the fact that through his actions directly played into the hands of the mob and stop,” she continued. 

“It is so horrifying to watch someone descend into this and not be able to admit what happened when you worked for him and you believed in him,” Carpenter told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

“It is really hard to watch,” she added.

Twitter says Trump's final tweets violated its glorification of violence policy 

Twitter’s decision to suspend President Trump’s account followed two tweets Friday afternoon that would end up being his last.

The tweets violated the company’s policy against the glorification of violence, Twitter said in a blog post, and “these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks.”

The first tweet was about Trump’s supporters. 

The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

The second indicated Trump did not plan to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration.  

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

Twitter said the tweet concerning the inauguration could be viewed as a further statement that the election was not legitimate. It also said that the tweet could be interpreted as Trump saying that the inauguration would be a “safe” target for violence because he would not be attending. 

Trump’s other statement about American patriots suggested that “he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election,” Twitter said.

Twitter told CNN the company will enforce its policy against ban evasions to ensure that Trump does not circumvent his personal account’s suspension.

“If it is clear that another account is being used for the purposes of evading a ban, it is also subject to suspension,” Twitter said in a statement. “For government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we will not suspend those accounts but will take action to limit their use. However, these accounts will be transitioned over to the new administration in due course and will not be suspended by Twitter unless absolutely necessary to alleviate real-world harm.”

Twitter’s policy would also prohibit Trump from directing a third party to operate a Twitter account on his behalf.

Civil rights leaders who have long criticized tech platforms for spreading hate speech and division welcomed Twitter’s decision.  

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, called it an “excellent step.” 

“A fitting end to a legacy of spewing hate and vitriol,” Greenblatt said. “President Trump incited the violent riots at the Capitol using social media & paid the price.”

Eric Naing, a spokesperson for Muslim Advocates, said Twitter “is showing real leadership.”

“As Twitter notes, letting Trump continue to post tweets, Facebook posts and YouTube videos for his white nationalist supporters risks ‘further incitement of violence,’” Naing said. “Now it is up to Facebook and Google/YouTube to follow Twitter’s lead.”