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DUP's Paisley defends Donald Trump in wake of US Capitol riots

DUP MP Ian Paisley doesn't believe that President Trump’s speech before the siege on the US Capitol “provoked the rioters to break the law”.

In the build up to the Presidential election in November, Mr Paisley described himself and Mr Trump as “good friends”, while he posed in a photograph with fellow DUP MPs holding a flag supporting his re-election.

Since losing the election to Joe Biden, Trump has accused opponents of trying to steal the result, while divisions in American society continued to deepen.

Those divisions finally reached breaking point on Wednesday as armed Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building. A woman was shot dead by police and three others died of “medical emergencies”, police confirmed.

US Capitol riots: Trump supporters storm Washington [photos] Close

Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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*** BESTPIX *** WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A Washington DC police officer walks through the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

*** BESTPIX *** WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A Washington DC police officer walks through the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester sits in the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters have entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester sits in the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters have entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Vice President Mike Pence walks off the House floor as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

Vice President Mike Pence walks off the House floor as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

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Demonstrators try to open a door of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators try to open a door of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

AP

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester screams "Freedom" inside the Senate chamber after the U.S. Capitol was breached by a mob during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during demonstrations in the nation's capital.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester screams "Freedom" inside the Senate chamber after the U.S. Capitol was breached by a mob during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06:  A pro-Trump mob enters the Roturnda of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A pro-Trump mob enters the Roturnda of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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A demonstrator talks to police over a barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A demonstrator talks to police over a barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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A woman is helped up by police during a rally Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A woman is helped up by police during a rally Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Protesters enter the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters have entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Protesters enter the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters have entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06:  A pro-Trump protester carries the lectern of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi through the Roturnda of the U.S. Capitol Building after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A pro-Trump protester carries the lectern of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi through the Roturnda of the U.S. Capitol Building after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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A police officer has eyes flushed with water after a confrontation with demonstrators, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A police officer has eyes flushed with water after a confrontation with demonstrators, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

AP

Supporters of President Donald Trump puts water in his eyes after U.S. Capitol Police deployed a chemical agent outside of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Supporters of President Donald Trump puts water in his eyes after U.S. Capitol Police deployed a chemical agent outside of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

AP

People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

AP

A demonstrator talks to police over a barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A demonstrator talks to police over a barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

AP

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

AP

U.S. Capitol Police hold protesters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

U.S. Capitol Police hold protesters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Biden has called the violent protests on the U.S. Capitol "an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people's business." (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Biden has called the violent protests on the U.S. Capitol "an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people's business." (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

AP

Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

AP

Lawmakers prepare to evacuate the the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Lawmakers prepare to evacuate the the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

AP

U.S. Capitol Police hold protesters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

U.S. Capitol Police hold protesters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

AP

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Members of the National Guard and the Washington D.C. police stand guard to keep demonstrators away from the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Members of the National Guard and the Washington D.C. police stand guard to keep demonstrators away from the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A member of a pro-Trump mob shatters a window with his fist from inside the Capitol Building after breaking into it on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A member of a pro-Trump mob shatters a window with his fist from inside the Capitol Building after breaking into it on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A group of pro-Trump protesters climb the walls of the Capitol Building after storming the West lawn on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A group of pro-Trump protesters climb the walls of the Capitol Building after storming the West lawn on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A pro-Trump mob storms the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A pro-Trump mob storms the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A crowd of Trump supporters gather outside as seen from inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress will hold a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. The joint session was disrupted as the Trump supporters breached the Capitol building. (Photo by Cheriss May/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A crowd of Trump supporters gather outside as seen from inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress will hold a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. The joint session was disrupted as the Trump supporters breached the Capitol building. (Photo by Cheriss May/Getty Images)

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Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Before the riot took place, thousands of Trump supporters gathered in Washington DC ahead of the Joint Session of Congress to confirm President-elect Biden’s victory.

Mr Trump repeated his claims that the election was “stolen” and encouraged the crowd to march the two miles from the White House to the Capitol.

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Support: DUP MPs Ian Paisley (left), Sammy Wilson (second left) and Paul Girvan (right) fly the flag for Donald Trump

Support: DUP MPs Ian Paisley (left), Sammy Wilson (second left) and Paul Girvan (right) fly the flag for Donald Trump

Support: DUP MPs Ian Paisley (left), Sammy Wilson (second left) and Paul Girvan (right) fly the flag for Donald Trump

North Antrim MP Mr Paisley said it was “abhorrent” to see any sort of violence interfere with the political process and recognised that both President Trump and President-elect Biden told those involved to go home.

Describing the scenes as “startling”, he added that it was “absolutely tragic” that people died.

Mr Paisley argued, however, that no one can say that Mr Trump provoked protesters to break the law. “He said that we’ll go down and we’ll protest peacefully,” stated Mr Paisley.

“I’m looking at his comments that were put up in what seemed to be a live commentary, that they would go down and applaud those members of Congress and the House that they agree with.

“He went on to say there’s some they don’t agree with but he didn’t say to do anything.

“Someone’s always going to look for someone to blame here but I think at the end of the day anyone who follows American politics knows it is a very, very deeply divided society.”

Mr Paisley stated that Northern Ireland has also witnessed political protests spilling into politics and recalled the brawl in Stormont surrounding the re-election of David Trimble as First Minister in 2001.

“There has been hand-to-hand fighting in various council chambers in Northern Ireland so we know something of it but nothing as dramatic I suppose as Capitol Hill — the bastion of the Free World — having this sort of a siege onto it,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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