Ivanka Trump has called insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol building “American Patriots” while urging them to refrain from violence, before hurriedly backtracking on the comment.
In a now-deleted tweet, sent as protesters stormed the seat of US democracy, the president’s eldest daughter and adviser said: “American patriots – any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately. Please be peaceful.”
Pointedly, she did not ask protests to abandon their demonstration or ask them to abandon their siege of the US Capitol building.
Questioned online about her use of the term “patriots” to describe the protesters – some of who carried the secessionist Confederate flag – Ivanka Trump clarified: “No. Peaceful protest is patriotic. Violence is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms.” She deleted the original tweet. The response remains online.
Ivanka Trump has not tweeted since.
From inside the besieged Capitol building, journalist Jake Sherman condemned Trump’s use of the term “patriots”. “American patriots? I’m sitting here in lockdown. The capitol has been breached and people have guns drawn. What are you talking about?”
White House correspondent April Ryan said while Ivanka was painted as the “voice of reason” advising her father, she was “complicit” in the violence visited upon the Capitol.
Others pointed to Trump’s deletion of the tweet as evidence it was inappropriate.
Eric Columbus, a former special counsel at the US department of homeland security, urged Ivanka and Donald Trump to call a halt to the violence.
Donald Trump’s twitter account has been suspended “for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity Policy”.
His account – the chief medium for communicating with supporters – will be blocked for 12 hours after he deletes the infringing tweets. If he refuses to delete them, his account will remain blocked, and further infringements could result in a permanent ban.
“If the tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked. Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” the Twitter safety account said.
In protests described as the greatest threat to US democracy since the civil war, Trump loyalists stormed the seat of US democracy – the Capitol building – seeking to block the certification of the presidential election held in November, a constitutional formality that will allow President-elect Joe Biden to be inaugurated on 20 January.
While the rioters temporarily succeeded in halting the vote, the certification process resumed on Wednesday night US-time.
One woman died from a gunshot wound sustained in the protests.