Megyn Kelly talks Donald Trump, 'Bombshell' and her new podcast project telling it like it is
Celebrated American anchorwoman and attorney Megyn Kelly has had quite the career sitting in the hot seat.
The journalist juggernaut has interviewed everyone from the Kardashian clan to the Russian president Vladimir Putin - and in , the political correspondent famously clashed with Donald Trump during a presidential debate.
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And her latest project The Megyn Kelly Show invites the world’s greatest political and cultural figures to have a very open and honest conversation - and nothing is off-limits.
“I can say whatever the heck I want to say about whatever the heck I want to talk about, and it’s freedom,” Kelly said.
“People are getting to the point where there are third rails that you cannot touch in conversation and it’s completely wrong and antithetical to who we are.
“I am representative of millions of people who want to have honest conversations about what is in the news, our culture and our world - legitimate struggles that we are dealing with as we evolve as a society.
“And this response that some people have had, which is, ‘You’ll just be quiet and accept it my way’, is completely unacceptable.
“I’m going to fight back and I hope others will fight back with me.”
Becoming the headline
During a presidential debate in , Kelly made headlines after asking Donald Trump whether a man of his temperament ought to be elected president - noting that he had called various women insulting names in the past.
Her questioning was criticised by Trump - but the journalist says she doesn’t hold anything against him now.
“I think he’s fine with me - I don’t think I’m his favourite or that he’s totally forgiven me,” Kelly said.
“I think the reason he got so mad is because he felt betrayed by me.
“He thought I liked him (because) I was a Fox News anchor, and I think he looked at me as somebody who, in another world, might have gone to bed with him - and he felt betrayed.
“I understand that - because I did like Trump and we had a great relationship. But it was a presidential debate and you’ve got to throw your fastball. And they all got it - it wasn’t just Trump.
“I understand better now that this is the package the wrecking ball came in - and the American people wanted a wrecking ball for a system that was not working for them.
“The fact that he has some rough edges was a good thing in their view even though the rough edges cut some people that they did care about.”
Bombshell the movie
Earlier this year Megyn’s personal life was projected across the big screen in the feature film Bombshell, which told the story of sexual harassment allegations against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.
“When we went through what we went through at Fox News and Roger Ailes went down for sexual harassment, there was no Me Too movement,” Kelly said.
“The story is important because it shows how women first started to get that they could speak up - and if they did speak up in a group, there might be power and we might not have to live with a system that had in many cases been subjugating us.
“It was a force for good at Fox and the movie wound up being a force for good.
“I think the Me Too movement has gone a little off the rails since then, but a lot of bad guys fell and that is a good thing.”
Find out more about Megyn Kelly’s podcast here.
Donald Trump Says Megyn Kelly Should Skip Debate; Fox Says Shell Be There
Since Megyn Kellys pointed question to Donald J. Trump about his treatment of women in the first Republican debate, he has been attacking her regularly, through Tweets and on the campaign trail.
His most recent attack: Ms. Kelly shouldnt be allowed to moderate the next debate, to be held on Thursday, because of conflict of interest and bias.
Based on @MegynKelly's conflict of interest and bias she should not be allowed to be a moderator of the next debate.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23,
Since August, the bad blood has been decidedly one-sided, as Mr. Trump has repeatedly called Ms. Kelly a liar and overrated, and retweeted supporters calling her a bimbo. Most memorably, he seemed to suggest she was menstruating during the debate when he said in an interview, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.
Ms. Kelly had asked Mr. Trump during the debate about his history of disparaging women he did not like by calling them fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. After he criticized her, she stood her ground, saying in August that she planned to continue doing my job without fear or favor. She has never engaged with the candidate on any of his attacks, and has had his supporters on her show, and showed video of his most recent famous endorser: Sarah Palin.
Fox News showed no signs of giving in to Mr. Trumps displeasure with the questioning, stating just a week following the first debate that all three moderators would again host the debate in January.
On Saturday, it reiterated that stance, saying in a statement: Megyn Kelly has no conflict of interest. Donald Trump is just trying to build up the audience for Thursdays debate, for which we thank him.
Trump Rekindles Feud With Megyn Kelly Ahead of Fox News Debate: ‘She Should Not Be Allowed to Be a Moderator’
Back at it. Photo: Getty Images
With just five days until Fox News airs the final GOP debate before the Iowa Caucuses, Donald Trump is reigniting his war with Megyn Kelly. “Based on @MegynKelly’s conflict of interest and bias she should not be allowed to be a moderator of the next debate,” Trump tweeted while campaigning in Iowa onSaturday.
Trump’s feud with Kelly has been one of the most memorable storylines of this raucous GOP primary. In recent weeks, it has heated up. In a lengthy Vanity Fair profile this month, Kelly boasted of writing the now-famous debate question about Trump’s history of misogynistic comments, which ignited the feud this summer. And last week, Kelly sarcastically brought up Sarah Palin’s Trump endorsement, as well as hosted National Review editor Rich Lowry to promote the National Review’s anti-Trumpissue.
Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, indicated that Trump could walk away from the debate if Fox won’t exclude Kelly. “Let’s see what happens,” he told me. “It’s fair to say Mr. Trump is a significant ratings driver for these debates. If we aren’t on stage for some reason, they wouldn’t have the record 24 million viewers and would be back with millionpeople.”
In the past, the Republican National Committee has banned media it deems unfair. It canceled a debate on NBC, and excluded the Manchester Union Leader and National Review after both outlets attacked Trump. But in this case, the RNC won’t be getting involved. “It’s up to Fox,” Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee chief strategist, toldme.
In a statement to reporters, Fox News spokesperson Irena Briganti said: “Megyn Kelly has no conflict of interest. Donald Trump is just trying to build up the audience for Thursday’s debate, for which we thankhim.”
For Fox News chief Roger Ailes, Trump’s threat of a debate boycott raises the stakes in a war that Ailes has struggled to develop a playbook for. Historically, Ailes’s strategy in situations where his stars are attacked is to follow a version of the Powell Doctrine: Apply overwhelming force. But Trump’s popularity with the GOP base — that is, Fox viewers — has forced Ailes to make a choice between his audience and Kelly. In the wake of the first debate, Ailes was said to be rattled by the volume of anti-Kelly emails Fox News received from Trump supporters. Kelly told people she was receiving death threats, and Fox did not have a ready response. Ailes, who is less of a presence at Fox, now has to make another choice, which could result in the GOP front runner walkingaway.
Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, told me Trump could stage his own televised town hall on Thursday night and let Fox’s rivals air it. “That would be a great idea,” hesaid.
Megyn Kelly Battles For Trump And Supporters In Online Tweetstorm
Former news anchor Megyn Kelly is doubling down on President Donald Trump and his backers, continuing her unlikely reconciliation with a man who once had her on his enemies list.
Kelly is taking on all comers on Twitter, including some celebrities, regarding the election fallout. Shes mostly defending Trumps supporters, who she claims have been demonized by the left.
Although the Kelly tone toward President Trump softened over the years, with Kelly a big supporter of Trumps recent debate performances, its still somewhat surprising that she would dig in at this point.
The animosity between Kelly and the Trump camp started during the GOP presidential debates, when Kelly pressed Trump on his past conduct and comments toward women. That set off the President on an anti-Kelly tweetstorm for months. They eventually reconciled in a softer interview during
Kelly has been mostly confined to her own social media since , when she was forced out of her ill-fitting position at NBCs Today show.
The Kelly tweetstorm highlights:
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Kelly trump megyn endorsement
Donald Trump vs. Megyn Kelly: More public reconciliation than prime time smackdown
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump have had what some might call a rather strained relationship since August, when the first Republican debate of this election cycle took place.
Some might also call it a "feud," of course – or describe Kelly as Trump's "arch-nemesis" in a headline related to the duo's public social media "battles."
From Trump's first tweet panning Kelly as a moderator to "blood coming out of her wherever" to Fox condemning the now Republican front-runner's "sick obsession" with their reporter, America has been fascinated by the developments in this back-and-forth for more than nine months now.
Sadly for them, it may all be over now that Kelly and Trump have had the chance to chat one-on-one, away from their computers.
The billionaire-businessman turned presidential candidate appeared on the Fox network as scheduled Tuesday evening in a new, one-hour-long primetime special called Megyn Kelly presents.
Hyped heavily by both Fox and Kelly over the past week, the interview itself (taped two weeks ago) lasted only about 16 minutes.
It wasn't so much the length that disappointed critics, however. As Slate's Isaac Chotiner puts it, the interview was simply "fawning, boring, and pointless."
Much of the segment was focused on the candidate's personal life, as Kelly asked about his divorces, his late brother, his experiences with bullying and how he manages his Twitter account.
"I have millions of followers at @RealDonaldTrump," he said at one point. "The thing that gets me in trouble is retweets the retweet is really more of a killer than the tweets. The tweets I seem to do pretty well with."
Whether part of his strategy to be seen as more "presidential" or a genuine attempt at reconciliation, Trump was decidedly more restrained in his language and behaviour than what we've seen in any of his interactions with Kelly since August.
Calling the interview "convivial" and "easygoing," The New York Times was one of many outlets reporting that a truce had been drawn after Kelly's special aired.
"Donald J. Trump and Megyn Kelly finally talked on Tuesday night about their raucous, contentious history over the last nine months," wrote the newspaper. "And it appears that things are all patched up."
Kelly did ask Trump at one point about their perceived feud and why he lashed out against her after the first Republican debate.
"I tell you what, in a certain way, what you did might have been a favour," Trump said, referring to Kelly's debate question about past insults he'd levelled against women. "I felt so good about having gotten through I said 'If I can get through this debate, with those questions, you can get through anything.'"
"You seemed to stay angry for months," Kelly replied. "Was that real or was that strategy?"
"Well I'm a real person — I don't say 'Oh gee I'm angry tonight' but tomorrow you're my best friend," Trump said. "I have great respect for you that you were able to call me and say 'let's get together and let's talk.'"
When asked by Kelly if he regretted how he'd behaved towards her over the past nine months, Trump answered: "Absolutely. I could have done certain things differently."
That's not to see he isn't happy with how things turned out, though.
"I think If I didn't conduct myself in the way I've done it," he said, "I don't think I would have been successful."
Heartwarming as all of this may be, Trump did reveal a few things about his run at the presidency and personal life that got the masses talking.
The moment that resonated the most on Twitter, though, (aside from perhaps the moment when Kelly plugged her own book) was when Trump said the following:
"If I don't go all the way and I don't win I will consider it to be a total and complete waste of time, energy and money."
Stay tuned to learn how that works out for him in the November election.
Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images.
Thursday night’s final presidential debate was (hopefully) the last sparring match between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. But Trump found an unlikely ally at the end of the debate, when former Fox News host Megyn Kelly — who has been shilling for the president in the last weeks leading up to the election — dubbed Trump the winner.
“Trump won this debate, handily,” Kelly wrote on Twitter. “Biden wasn’t a force at all. Trump was substantive, on-point, well-tempered. Definitely helped himself, when it mattered most.” Kelly live-tweeted the debate throughout the night and gave Trump lots of credit for his talking points on criminal justice reform and minimum wage, and suggested the president had a particularly strong moment when he told Biden, “I ran because of you.”
Kelly went on to add commentary about how the president had more control over himself during this debate, where he didn’t repeatedly interrupt Democratic nominee Joe Biden (perhaps the mute button escaped her attention?). She suggested that his incessant interruptions in previous debates must have been a “strategy,” but based on his Thursday night performance, Trump “can control himself just fine.”
But whether the president interrupts Biden or allows him to respond to debate questions doesn’t really matter because Kelly has named Trump the winner of both debates. She even mocked Biden when he couldn’t cut through Trump’s interruptions the first time around, which, she was very much alone in thinking that was some sort of weakness.
Despite her obvious support for the president (and maybe potential play to get her former job back), the former Fox News anchor insists she is engaging in “fair analysis” and chocks it up to the fact that she apparently doesn’t “suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome” (ok!). But this isn’t the first time she has basically endorsed the president on Twitter, even as she continues to deny her support for him.
When Refinery29 previously reported on Kelly’s apparent loyalty to the president, she retaliated with a weirdly sexist jab, stating that Refinery29 was "taking a break from watching The Bachelor and The Kardashians" to critique her tweets, before suggesting we “consider trying” news analysis her way. Aside from the obvious internalized misogyny her comments, Kelly stated at the time that she’s “just not in the tank for Biden and able to report fairly on both sides.”
But Kelly’s method of news analysis often involves hosting the leaders of hate groups and engaging in discriminatory commentary about marginalized communities. It's no secret that Kelly has opposed much of the initiatives put forward by the Black Lives Matter movement, making racist suggestions about how police acted appropriately when shooting an unarmed Jacob Blake in the back seven times in front of his children. Kelly has also promoted stories calling the "politicization" of Jacob Blake, George Floyd, and Eric Garner's deaths "dishonest."
It's actually quite unsurprising, given her stances, that Kelly has chosen to throw her weight behind a president who espouses racist ideas himself — despite the fact that Trump suggested she was hormonal after moderating a debate, saying she had “blood coming out of her wherever.”
Kelly may consider herself bipartisan and providing "fair analysis," but she also may be the only person who believes that to be true. After attempting to rehabilitate her former Fox News image with a brief stint at NBC, it’s clear there’s no redeeming the woman who once insisted on a supposedly hard-hitting news segment that Santa Claus is both real and, uh, white.
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The First Amendment Encyclopedia
In this May 16, , file photo, President Donald Trump listens to a question in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump was the 45th president of the United States, elected in after one of the most unconventional campaigns in U.S. history. Trump has championed First Amendment religious freedoms while being accused of religious discrimination for a travel ban aimed at Muslim countries. Image of Trump at a New Hampshire Town Hall on August 19, (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Billionaire businessman Donald J. Trump ( ) was the 45th president of the United States. He was elected in after one of the most unconventional and populist campaigns in U.S. history.
Trump mastered Twitter early on to attack political opponents
He distinguished himself from a large field of Republican contenders with strong and stinging rhetoric often communicated through the social network Twitter. He employed similar rhetoric against Hillary Clinton, whom he accused of committing crimes by using a private web server for email correspondence when she was secretary of state.
Trump began his campaign by claiming that the U.S. was being overrun by illegal immigrants who committed crimes and by promising to build a huge wall on America’s southern border to keep them out. Trump mustered support among Republicans by his opposition to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which he promised to repeal.
He questioned U.S. trade policies, said that America’s allies needed to contribute more to their own defense, opposed governmental regulations (particularly environmental) that he thought were interfering with economic growth, and was far friendlier to Russian leader Vladimir Putin and other foreign strongmen than his predecessor was.
Trump, who had never before held elective office, was arguably aided by the perception that he offered an alternative to politics as it was (Clinton had been both a U.S. senator and secretary of state) and by leaks from the Democratic National Campaign headquarters.
Trump was combative during the presidential debates, in one case launching a sharp attack against moderator and then-Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly.
Trump attacked establishment news media
It is doubtful that any national candidate since President Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, has been more negative toward the established media than Trump.
He frequently called members of the media dishonest and singled them out for ridicule at his rallies. He called the press “the enemy of the people” and often bypassed the media by refusing to be interviewed. He instead preferred to reach his followers directly through tweets, many of which were outrageous but nonetheless captured public attention and news media coverage.
Trump initially hired a number of people from the alt-right movement, including Steve Bannon of Breitbart News, to be in his inner circle. He and his defenders often accused the media of manufacturing “fake news”.
Trump has faced criticism for his attacks on the news media. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake gave a speech on the Senate floor on Jan. 17, , in which he said that Trump's characterization of the press as “the enemy of the people” echoed the words of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
Trump won evangelical support by promising more freedom
Early in his campaign, Trump was endorsed by Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University. Trump convinced many evangelicals that he would secure their First Amendment free exercise rights and exempt them from government regulations, such as the requirement that health plans provide access to birth-control pills that they consider to be abortifacients. As president, Trump signed an executive order seeking protections for religious freedom (Campbell ).
Trump promised to "open up" libel laws
Trump promised to punish individuals who burned the American flag and to “open up” libel laws (Cole ).
After excerpts from Michael Wolff’s highly critical book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, was released in January , Trump’s attorneys sent an page letter to Wolff and to his publisher, Henry Holt & Co., asking them to “cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book, the article, or any excerpts or summaries of either of them, to any person or entity, and that you issue a full and complete retraction and apology to my client as to all statements made about him in the book and article that lack competent evidentiary support” (Quoted in Nichols ).
Wolff and his publisher, undoubtedly thankful for the additional publicity, instead expedited publication of the book, which became a bestseller. The Authors Guild issued a statement saying that “[i]t is one thing for a private citizen to use libel laws to quash speech. It is unheard of for a sitting President to do so."
The U.S. Supreme Court held in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan () that state libel laws must comport with First Amendment standards and ruled in Texas v. Johnson () that some flag-burning is a form of protected political speech.
Trump often made false claims
Trump and his press secretary often made claims that appeared to be palpably false, as, for example, in saying that more people showed up to his inauguration than any previous president (photographs strongly suggested otherwise). Trump also claimed that the only reason that he lost the popular vote (he clearly won the Electoral College) was because millions of immigrants illegally voted.
No evidence substantiated this claim or similar claims that he made about the election of
Trump and the media had troubled relationship
Trump was frequently parodied, especially by comedy and late-night television programs such as "Saturday Night Live." In June , comedian Kathy Griffin crossed the line of good taste when she held up what appeared to be a severed head of the president. Although her right to do so was unquestioned under the First Amendment, CNN ended its agreement with her to host its New Year’s Eve broadcast and several venues canceled her tour dates.
On July 25, , White House officials Bill Shine and Sarah Sanders, barred CNN's Kaitlin Collins, that day’s pool reporter for all the networks, from a presidential event in the Rose Garden. Collins had shouted a question and apparently offended Trump as he was meeting with the president of the European Commission. Other members of the press, including Fox News that was usually friendly to Trump, protested the action against the reporter, which some associated with dictatorial regimes.
In January , President Trump praised Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for doing “a good job” on National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Mary Louise Kelly after she reported that Pompeo shut down an interview with her. Pompeo had stopped the interview, then shouted and cursed at her, after she had asked about his support for State Department personnel. Pompeo subsequently removed another NPR reporter from a list of reporters allowed on his flight to Eastern Europe, an action that the State Department Correspondents’ Association condemned.
Circuit court ruled Trump's travel ban discriminated based on religion
As a candidate, Trump referred often to “radical Islamic terrorists.” As president, Trump issued two orders banning immigration from a select number of countries, all with Muslim majorities. After a number of federal courts enjoined the first order, Trump issued a second.
In International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump (), the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law improperly discriminated on the basis of religion, largely using Trump’s own campaign statements and tweets as evidence of what the Court considered to be the order’s discriminatory purpose. In Trump v. Hawaii, U.S. ____ (), however, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the President’s broad authority to impose restrictions on immigrants from foreign countries when he thought they posed special security dangers.
Trump named three Supreme Court justices
Although Republicans had a majority in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, Trump’s administration had a rocky start. Although he succeeded in getting Neil Gorsuch confirmed as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court (replacing Antonin Scalia), efforts to repeal Obamacare did not succeed. Controversy over both the president’s actions and tweets took attention and energy away from his plans for major improvements in America’s infrastructure and tax reform, though tax changes eventually were implemented by Congress in December
Trump was given another opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court justice when Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had often cast a decisive swing vote in close cases, announced his retirement. Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh (b. ) a former Kennedy clerk who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Considered much more conservative than Kennedy, Kavanaugh was confirmed on Oct. 6, , after highly contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
Trump investigated for Russia relations
After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate. Mueller resigned in after saying the investigation was over.
William Barr, the attorney general appointed by Trump to replace Sessions, claimed that the investigation, which on many points was inconclusive, had exonerated Trump. Trump called the whole affair a “witch hunt.”
This investigation, which has resulted in a number of pleas and indictments of members of the Trump team, as well as of Russian foreign agents, continued into the new year, as did independent congressional investigations. Some of Trump’s congressional supporters introduced resolutions for the impeachment of Rosenstein. Rosenstein resigned in May
The President received considerable criticism for meeting in Helsinki, Finland, with Russian President Vladimir Putin without another American official other than a translator in the room. Some members of Congress had called for the translator to testify about the content of the conversations.
Trump fought accusations on many fronts. In , his former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws related to a payment to a former Playboy model. The payment was designed to keep a story about an alleged affair between her and Trump out of the news during the presidential campaign. Cohen released a tape of a conversation with Trump that indicated that Trump was aware of plans to make a payment.
Trump’s first impeachment
As much as Trump sought to discredit the media, there were increasing calls for his impeachment.
These were brought to a head when it was revealed that Trump had engaged in a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he appeared to condition military aid to that nation, which was threatened by Russia, unless and until it launched in an investigation of the salary that the son of Joe Biden had received as a member of Ukrainian energy company board of directors.
In an almost completely party-line vote, the House indicted Trump both for this apparent attempt at extortion and for his failure to cooperate with congressional investigators. The Senate acquitted him.
election and the attack on the Capitol Building
The Republicans renominated Trump for president, and Joe Biden, Obama’s former vice-president, emerged from a wide field to be the Democratic nominee. Biden selected as his running mate Senator Kamala Harris of California, whose mother was from India and whose father was African- American.
As the election approached, COVID, a virus that originated in China, began infecting an increasing number of Americans and taking an increasing number of lives. Trump downplayed the deaths, claiming that the virus would disappear. He refused to wear face masks and did not insist that supporters do so at his campaign rallies even after he was briefly hospitalized with the disease.
Largely as a result of the pandemic, many states liberalized voting so that more people could cast mail-in ballots rather than physically go to a polling place. Trump charged that this would lead to voting fraud.
Many states decided to count mail-in ballots after they finished counting votes cast in person on election day. Trump, who had urged his own supporters to vote in person on election day, was shown with an early lead as vote-counting began. This lead evaporated as more votes were counted. Although the election was held on Tuesday, it was not until that Friday that news outlets were comfortable in reporting that Biden had won both the popular vote and the majority of the Electoral College.
Ironically, Biden won the presidential election by the same margin in the Electoral College that Trump had beaten Hillary Clinton in Despite longstanding tradition, Trump refused to concede the election and launched a series of lawsuits in states that he lost questioning the electoral results and calling for recounts. Trump attorney Rudi Giuliani was among those who continued to advance Trump’s case in public, often making exaggerated charges in public that he chose not to advance in court cases, which consistently went against Trump even as recounts confirmed initial results.
Trump continued to question electoral counts, even in states like Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where Republican state officials affirmed that they were accurate. Trump called the Republican Attorney General of Georgia urging him to "find" sufficient votes for him to carry that state. The phone call was recorded and released through the news media for the public to hear.
As the time came for Vice President Mike Pence to open the Electoral College votes before a joint session of Congress on January 6, , Trump held out hope that Pence could, contrary to all historical precedent, convert this ministerial act into a discretionary one and declare him the winner. As Pence indicated that he would not do so, Trump supporters gathered for a rally at the White House. Trump and his allies urged the crowd to continue to fight and to go to the Capitol Building. Trump told them that if they did not do so, they might not have a country left.
As the crowd approached the Capitol Building, they began scuffling with Capitol Hill police officers who they greatly outnumbered. In time, members of the mob not only broke through the barricades but also broke into the Capitol Building where they carried flags, broke into congressional offices and threatened to hang the vice president. Members of Congress took cover in fear for their lives. Trump did not intervene. But when order was restored, Congress reassembled and affirmed that Biden had won the presidential election. Five people, including a police officer, died in the riot.
In an extraordinary move, Twitter suspended Trump’s account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” by the president. Despite criticism, this action did not violate the First Amendment because the site is not owned or maintained by the government.
Trump’s Second Impeachment
The House subsequently impeached Trump a second time, this one for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol Building. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed sending the indictment to the Senate until after Biden and Harris were inaugurated. Again, Trump broke with tradition in refusing to attend the inauguration although his vice president and former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama did so.
When the House delivered its indictment to the U.S. Senate, a majority of Republicans claimed that the Senate had no right to try an ex-president. If a two-thirds majority of the Senate decided to convict Trump, they would have the power to exclude him by majority vote from holding future governmental offices.
As Trump left office, he pardoned a number of individuals who had stood by him during his first impeachment hearings, although he did not seek to pardon either himself (something that many scholars believe he has no right to do) or his family members. There is a chance that he will face charges connected to tax evasion and related financial dealings. Shortly after Trump left office, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed cases alleging that he had violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by directing business to his enterprises during his presidency on the basis that they were moot.
The Biden Administration
The Biden Administration brought hope that he and his administration would treat members of the media with greater honesty and respect and that he might be able to heal some of the national divisions that the Trump Administration had accentuated. Trump’s attacks on the media helped undermine public faith in traditional news sources and led to the increasing public acceptance of conspiratorial world views that make compromise difficult. Amid fears of continuing civil unrest, it remains unclear whether the Republican Party will continue to embrace, or whether it will repudiate, the first president in U.S. history ever to have been twice impeached.
John Vile is a professor of political science and dean of the Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University. He is co-editor of the Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. This article was updated Jan. 28,Send Feedback on this article