Trump Cancels Jan. 6 Anniversary Press Conference To Relief Of Many Republicans
Former President Donald Trump announced Tuesday evening that he would cancel the press conference scheduled for Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection. This cancelation is a relief for Senate Republicans, who openly expressed worry that Trump would reignite discourse questioning the validity of the 2020 presidential election.
When asked earlier on Tuesday about the conference, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) said, “I don’t think that’s a good idea. I guess it depends on what he’s going to say. But early assumptions are that it’s going to be an aggressive statement. I just don’t think it’s a good idea.”
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), too, commented on the inadvisability of the event. Toomey, one of only seven Republican Senators who voted to convict Trump over his role in the insurrection, said he thought the conference was not a “terribly good idea.” However, he added, “What am I going to do about it?”
Most Republicans, however, have simply elected not to talk about the riot or Trump’s role in it. Trump continues to defend those who attacked the U.S. Capitol. However, most Senate Republicans have abandoned voicing agreement or even commenting on his claims, seeing little benefit in involving themselves with the inflammatory ex-president. Many declined from speaking Tuesday about the conference.
“There’s no benefit in commenting,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) on the subject. “So I’m not going to comment.”
Republican Senators’ decision not to comment on Trump’s ongoing complaints highlights the tension within the GOP over how much to engage with Trump. Many Republican politicians criticized Trump’s actions in connection to the insurrection. However, he remains a prominent figure with substantial sway over the party.
When Trump was impeached for his role in the Capitol attack, most Senate Republicans voted to acquit him. Most also voted against the formation of a bipartisan commission that would investigate the insurrection. In order to pursue an investigation, House Democrats formed a special committee for this purpose.
Trump blamed his decision to cancel the rally on the Jan. 6 committee. In his statement announcing the cancelation, he said, “In light of the total bias and dishonesty of the January 6th Unselect Committee of Democrats, two failed Republicans, and the Fake News Media, I am canceling the January 6th Press Conference at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday.”
He has another rally scheduled for Jan. 15 in Arizona. He said that he would discuss “many of those important topics” at the upcoming rally.
While Republican Senators have generally been dreading Trump’s Jan. 6 appearance, House Republicans have been much more welcoming to the idea. For example, on Monday night, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Indiana) discussed the conference with Laura Ingraham on Fox News.
“I welcome it. President Trump has important things to say,” Banks told the host. “I’m looking forward to hearing what President Trump has to say.”
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