Trump urged by House Republican to ‘stand down’ supporters following potential threat to Capitol

‘I think President Trump has a responsibility to tell them to stand down’

Louise Hall
Thursday 04 March 2021 18:04 GMT
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A House Republican has urged Donald Trump to tell his supporters to “stand down” after police said they had received intelligence of another possible plot on the capitol ahead of 4 March.

Texas Rep Michael McCaul, who is the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that the former president has a duty to call off his supporters.

"I think President Trump has a responsibility to tell them to stand down, this threat is credible, it’s real," Rep Michael McCaul told the broadcaster.

The representative had been asked whether Mr Trump should outright dismiss the notion he could still be inaugurated on 4 March to quell conspiracy theories suggesting otherwise.

The date is significant as it previously stood as the inauguration date of presidents prior to the 20th amendment of the constitution in 1933.

Some conspiracy theory groups such as QAnon believe that 4 March stands as the official Inauguration Day and that Mr Trump will return to DC on Thursday and retake his former office.

“They think this is the true inauguration day and that President Trump should be inaugurated tomorrow. And that is the threat we face right now," Mr McCaul said.

Capitol state police confirmed on Wednesday that they had obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, 4 March.

In response to the possible threat, the department said it had increased security and was aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex.

“We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers,” Capitol police said in a statement.

According to an earlier internal security bulletin from House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett, obtained by CBS News and other outlets, Mr Trump’s supporters have referred to 4 March as “true Inauguration Day”.

However, the bulletin reportedly said that the threat had appeared to decline since the insurrection on 6 January.

Mr McCaul told CNN on Wednesday that law enforcement is "absolutely" more prepared this time in the event of a security alert than they were on 6 January.

"The Capitol is fortified like a compound," he said. "We have razor wire around the Capitol complex, we have National Guard surrounding the Capitol, so we feel much safer.”

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