Trump greeted with cheers on morning call to RNC as he and Pence cancel public speeches in wake of riots

'This gathering should send a message to them: This isn't their Republican Party anymore. This is Donald Trump's Republican Party,' his oldest son said Wednesday before violent riot

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Thursday 07 January 2021 20:21
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‘Violence never wins’: Pence condemns Capitol riot

Donald Trump was greeted with cheers on a morning call to a members-only RNC breakfast, after the party cancelled his keynote address to the party conference on Thursday night.

A person with knowledge of the president’s plans confirmed that he will not deliver the evening’s keynote address during the conservative conference, one day after an angry mob he stirred up stormed the Capitol to interrupt the country’s peaceful transfer of power.

But he was reportedly greeted with cheers when he called into a breakfast meeting at a Republican National Committee breakfast meeting even as bullet holes remained in Capitol windows and offices remained trashed after he sent his loyalists to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

RNC officials are holding their annual winter meetings in Florida, far away from the war-like scene inside the ornate legislative hall in Washington.

The president reportedly told a members-only breakfast that he learned by watching news coverage he was not expected to keep his Thursday evening speaking slot.

So he picked up the phone and called them in the morning instead.

Those in the room reportedly expressed their “love” for him even after four people died and Capitol Police officers were wounded in violence that he appeared to encourage during a midday rally before Congress met in joint session to certify his re-election defeat.

Mr Trump and his family are angling to either run the RNC or do so by proxy once the 45th president leaves office.

During the same pro-Trump rally that the president addressed before encouraging his angry loyalists to storm the Capitol during the certification vote, his oldest son issued a threat to the Republican Party that has been remade in his father’s name since 2015.

"It should be a message to all the Republicans who have not been willing to actually fight, the people who did nothing to stop the steal," Trump Jr. said at the rally with the theme "Stop the Steal" on the Ellipse, with the White House as a carefully selected backdrop.

"This gathering should send a message to them: This isn't their Republican Party anymore. This is Donald Trump's Republican Party."

Yet, his backers reportedly left pipe bombs near RNC headquarters on Capitol Hill. Other reports revealed a cache of explosives and firearms in a truck parked nearby.

Around 100 House Republicans joined a challenge of Pennsylvania’s Electoral College vote for Mr Biden even as some GOP senators dropped their objections following the violent mob’s riot.

No senior Republican has spoken out against the president on the record on Thursday, or called for him to be held accountable for his fomenting of the riot – a signal his grip over the party might have loosened, but remains intact.

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