Washington DC chaos: loyalty to Trump cracks on a day that will define his presidency

Washington DC chaos: loyalty to Trump cracks on a day that will define his presidency

This story is published in a content partnership with POLITICO. It was originally reported by Gabby Orr, Anita Kumar and Meridith McGraw on politico.com on January 7, 2021.

It was, for many of President Donald Trump’s own allies, the final straw. What began as a rally intended to support Trump became a permanent and irreversible stain on his presidency on Wednesday afternoon, as fans of the outgoing president stormed the US Capitol – shattering windows, prompting evacuations and injuring law enforcement officials in the process – to temporarily halt the certification of his opponent’s 2020 victory.

A distressing scene for many Americans watching from home, the uprising at the Capitol followed two months of provocation from Trump – subversive rhetoric about America’s election, threats against Republican figures who didn’t agree, broadsides against his own vice-president. And it followed four years of rabble-rousing by a president intent on keeping a grip on the Republican Party, resulting in a climactic moment on Wednesday that could come to define Trump’s political future and the direction of the Republican Party after he leaves office.