‘If you read my speech … what I said was totally appropriate’

President Donald Trump has refused to take responsibility for the deadly riots at the Capitol in his first discussion with reporters since the violent mob attacked Congress as it convened to certify the 2020 elections.

“So if you read my speech, and many people have done it, and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television, it’s been analyzed, and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” he said in response to questions about his role in the riots.

He was referring to the speech he delivered to his supporters just before the violent mob launched the attacks, in which he lied about his electoral defeat, promoted conspiracy theories of rampant voter fraud and urged the audience to march to the Capitol.

Mr Trump then claimed the “real problem” was what other politicians said about the violent riots in Portland following the death of George Floyd. 

The president spoke to reporters before departing for Texas, where he was scheduled to take a tour of border wall construction.

Before departing, he also called the growing calls to have him removed from office “absolutely ridiculous” and said the Democrats’ demands for impeachment were causing “tremendous anger.”