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Trump talks border wall, free speech, impeachment in first public address since Capitol protest

President Donald Trump speaks at Flight 93 National Memorial Nineteenth Anniversary Observance on Sept. 11, 2020. (White House photo/Released)
January 12, 2021

President Trump visited the U.S.-Mexico border wall in southern Texas Tuesday, making his first public appearance in almost a week.

The overarching theme of the President’s speech was a call for law and order, a mantra often recited by Trump and his team, in addition to a call for healing in the United States amid heightened tensions.

“Now is the time for our nation to heal. And it’s time for peace and for calm. Respectful law enforcement and the great people within law enforcement, is the foundation of the MAGA agenda,” President Trump said. “We are a nation of law. We are a nation of order.”

Early on in his address, President Trump turned to the protest that became violent on Capitol Hill last week, after protesters forced their way through multiple layers of security to breach the Capitol building.

“Millions of our citizens watched on Wednesday as a mob stormed the Capitol and trashed the halls of government. As I have consistently said throughout my administration, we believe in respecting America’s history and traditions, not tearing them down,” President Trump stated. “We believe in the rule of law, not in violence or rioting.”

The president also addressed the recent “assault” on the freedom of speech, and noted that while the 25th Amendment is not a current threat to his term, he suggested it could become one for President-elect Joe Biden.

“Free speech is under assault like never before. The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me, but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration,” Trump said. “As the expression goes: be careful what you wish for.”

The president continued, “The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the U.S.A., especially at this very tender time.”

The visit marked the completion of 450 miles of border wall, a feat Trump called “tremendous” on his way to Texas early Tuesday.

“As you know, we’ve completed the wall. They may want to expand it. We have the expansion underway. It’s been tremendously successful, far beyond what anyone thought. We’re stopping in large numbers the drugs coming into the country for many, many years and decades. We’re stopping a lot of illegal immigration,” the president told reporters.

Trump acknowledged the surge of migrants moving north from Cuba and South America “because they think there’s going to be a lot in it for them if they’re able to get through.”

“But we’re able to stop it. The wall has made a tremendous difference,” Trump continued. “The wall has made a tremendous difference on the southern border.”