WTF Just Happened Today

Your essential guide to the daily shock and awe in national politics.


Day 1461: How it ended.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

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1/ In a farewell video, Trump claimed that he “took on the tough battles” during his four years in office and vowed that “the movement we started is only just beginning.” Trump did not concede, take responsibility for encouraging his supporters to attack the Capitol, or mention Biden by name in his farewell address.“We did what we came here to do,” Trump said, “and so much more.” Pence, meanwhile, confirmed he will not attend Trump’s farewell event tomorrow, but will instead attend the inauguration of Biden and Kamala Harris. Trump leaves office as the only twice-impeached U.S. president. (Politico / New York Times / Washington Post / Axios / Associated Press)

2/ Mitch McConnell said the mob that stormed the Capitol was “fed lies” and “provoked by the president” into violence, referring to Trump’s attempts to overturn the election based on his baseless claims of voter fraud. McConnell’s remarks came on his last full day as majority leader, shortly before he met with Chuck Schumer to work out rules for Trump’s Senate impeachment trial for “willful incitement of insurrection.” Former Attorney General William Barr, meanwhile, said that questioning the legitimacy of the Nov. 3 election “precipitated the riot,” but he didn’t blame Trump for inciting the mob. (New York Times / Politico / NPR / Bloomberg / CNBC / The Guardian / New York Times / Washington Post)

3/ Federal prosecutors filed conspiracy charges against three members of the Oath Keepers, an extremist militant group, for their role in the attack on the Capitol. The three were allegedly part of a group who had planned to breached the Capitol on opposite sides to hunt for lawmakers in an “organized and practiced fashion” so they could make “citizen’s arrests.” In charging papers, the FBI said during the riot, one of the members received a Facebook message that said: “All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas.” (Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg /


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