In a now-deleted tweet, Ivanka Trump called the rioters storming Capitol Hill “American patriots.” The president’s daughter and advisor wrote, “American Patriots—any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately. Please be peaceful.”
She deleted the tweet soon after posting it, but when asked to clarify if she was calling the mob “patriots,” she tweeted, “No. Peaceful protest is patriotic. Violence is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms.”
Her message came after the pro-Trump mob took over the Capitol building in Washington D.C. while members of Congress were deliberating the electoral college results. Senators and congresspeople were evacuated from the building.
“Flash bangs could be heard near the steps of the Capitol as smoke filled the air,” CNN reported, describing the scene. “In some instances, officers could be seen deploying pepper spray. Tear gas has been deployed, but it’s not clear whether by protesters or police, and people wiped tears from their eyes while coughing.”
President Trump’s press secretary said he deployed the National Guard with “other federal protective services” a full hour after the chaos began. Trump also tweeted, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” and “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order—respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
In a video posted later in the afternoon, Trump told the mob, “Go home. We love you. You’re very special.” He also tweeted, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Ivanka’s brother, Donald Trump Jr., also tweeted about the rioters at the Capitol, saying, “This is wrong and not who we are. Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don’t start acting like the other side. We have a country to save and this doesn’t help anyone.”
Although, earlier in the day, he spoke at a rally protesting the 2020 presidential election results and celebrated that attendees had not “burned buildings down.” He said, “According to the media, when you have a large gathering of peaceful protestors, they’re supposed to burn it all down. See guys, we can do it right.” He also told them, “This isn’t their Republican party anymore. This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party.”
Ivanka’s “American Patriots” comment certainly echoes remarks her father made after the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. After a white supremacist murdered counterprotestor Heather Heyer by driving his car into a crowd, Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides.”
Now, Ivanka and her family refuse to call members of the mob in D.C. what they are: insurrectionists holding the Capitol—and the people inside—hostage.