Donald Trump arrives at the Capitol for the first time since the January 6 riots

Donald Trump returned to Capitol Hill to meet with Republicans in his first visit to the region since the January 6, 2021 riots.

The presumptive Republican nominee in November’s presidential election has delivered a message of unity, promising to “resolve” any remaining differences within the party.

Later in the day, the former president is also scheduled to meet with an association of 200 company leaders.

Nancy Pelosi, the former Democratic House Speaker, said in a statement that Trump was “the instigator of an insurrection… returning to the scene of the crime”.

The visit comes weeks after Trump was criminally convicted of falsifying business records in a hush money trial in New York.

He arrived at the Republican Party office building near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday morning, passing by a small crowd of protesters holding signs with slogans including “failed coup” and ” Democracy forever, Trump never”.

In a brief press conference early Thursday afternoon, Mr. Trump said there was “great unity” within the party and vowed to stand with his Republican colleagues, even those with whom he disagrees. .

“I am with each and every one of you. I will always be with you,” he said. “If [a relationship] wasn’t great, it was resolved.

“We have one thing in mind, which is to make our county great again.”

Trump did not answer the question but simply waved and gave a thumbs up to a small group of supporters who shouted “I love you.”

“Thank you,” he opened his mouth to respond.

After a meeting between Trump and House Republicans earlier in the day, House Speaker Mike Johnson said the former president “brought an extraordinary amount of energy and enthusiasm this morning.”

“That’s what we’re seeing in the party across the country,” Mr. Johnson said. “We believe we will take back the White House, the Senate and grow our majority in the House.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has publicly criticized Trump in the past, called the visit “really positive.”

“He got a lot of standing ovations,” Mr. McConnell added.

In addition to Mr. McConnell, two other Trump critics in the party – Utah Senators Mitt Romney and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana – were also present at the meeting.

Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, described Trump as “extremely charming” and “warm” toward Senate Republicans.

“I guess I’ve only been here five years and it was probably the warmest meeting I’ve ever had with senators and Trump,” he told reporters.

Trump spoke “quite a bit” about abortion at the meeting, where he reiterated his position that voters should be the ones to decide the issue, Hawley said.

At an earlier meeting with House Republicans, Trump reportedly described Milwaukee as “terrible,” months before it hosted the Republican National Convention.

That prompted his spokesman to clarify that he was referring to crime in the city, not the city itself.

Milwaukee Police Department statistics shows that violent crime, including murder and rape, has dropped significantly in the city over the past two years.

Before the visit, Politico reported that Trump called Johnson to urge him to help overturn his May 31 conviction on 34 counts of document falsification in New York.

“We have to overturn this,” Trump allegedly said in an expletive-filled call.

New York Republican Representative Marcus Molinaro told CBS, the BBC’s US partner, that Mr Trump did not mention the verdict when meeting with Republican members of the House of Representatives.

More than three years ago, Trump urged his supporters to “fight like hell” just hours before a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, in a failed attempt to stop the certify the election.

“Today Donald Trump came to Capitol Hill with the same mission of dismantling our democracy,” Pelosi said in her statement.

“Make no mistake — Trump has cemented his shameful legacy in our hallowed halls.”


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