How Trump's Capitol Speech Incited an Insurrection

This video combines audio of Trump’s speech before the Capitol was stormed and images of what followed, to illustrate how the president's words helped incite the violence.

Shortly before noon on Jan. 6, 2021, President Donald Trump took to a stage that had been assembled in a park near the White House and spoke to his supporters for more than an hour about baseless claims of election fraud —claims he’s been pounding ever since the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Soon after Trump’s speech Wednesday, as the Senate and House of Representatives met to certify election results, a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in an insurrection that left windows broken, offices damaged, and several people dead.

We have edited the audio of Trump’s speech and synced it with images of the ensuing events at the Capitol. It includes Trump’s misinformation about the results of the 2020 presidential election, and is presented here to illustrate how his words helped incite the violent events that followed.

After initially praising and comforting the people who participated in Wednesday’s events in a video that was later removed from social media platforms, Trump abruptly changed his tone in a speech Thursday. In a pre-taped video released Thursday, the president said the people who infiltrated the Capitol “have defiled the seat of American democracy” and that those who broke the law “will pay.” 

Trump claimed that he’s now focused on ensuring a “smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power,” but he announced Friday that he would not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.