By Zachary Stieber
President Donald Trump could have “tempered down” his Jan. 6 speech but was not to blame for the breach of the U.S. Capitol that day, according to his longtime Housing Secretary Ben Carson.
“I think it was potentially something that could have been tempered down,” Carson told the Washington Examiner. “When you saw in the audience some of the elements that looked somewhat violent, you might want to temper what you have to say.”
Trump spoke to a crowd in Washington, telling them at one point, “We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
He also said that people who were planning to march to the Capitol should do so “peacefully and patriotically.”
Trump finished at 1:12 p.m. The crowd at the Capitol began getting unruly before then. It takes about 45 minutes to walk from where Trump spoke to the Capitol.
Carson said it was clear that the group that attacked the Capitol was already going to do so before Trump spoke.
“There’s a lot of evidence that they were planning this before the day of the attack and brought appropriate weapons to carry out what could have been very devastating,” he said.
Carson, a former Republican presidential nominee and neurosurgeon, said last week that he was “focused on finishing what I started in uplifting the forgotten women and men of America.”
“It’s time to move toward peace. We are not each other’s enemies!” he added in a tweet.
In the new interview, he said the country needs to be united.
“It won’t be Russia or China or Iran,” he said. “It will be us that destroys this if we don’t learn.”
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