Donald Trump says 25th Amendment is 'zero risk' to him

  • Video report by ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy

Donald Trump has insisted moves to remove him from office before his term finishes are "of zero risk" to him and will "haunt" President-elect Joe Biden.

The outgoing president - who lost a fair election despite his baseless claims to the contrary - made his comments before he said the nation must now "heal" in the same speech.

Speaking at the Alamo in Texas, the site of the 450th mile of the border wall his administration is building, he said: "Free speech is under assault like never before.

"The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for."

The 25th Amendment is the apparatus with which a president can be removed from office, which what many have called for in the wake of the riots at the US Capitol.

ITV News Washington Correspondent Emma Murphy explains how Donald Trump has responded as he could face a second impeachment

Alamo is named after the San Antonio mission where a small group of Texan independence-fighters fended off Mexican forces during a 13-day siege.

Trump’s visit - no doubt a symbol of the president’s defiance - comes as he spends the final days of his presidency isolated, aggrieved and staring down the prospect of a second impeachment.

Ahead of his visit, he refused to take responsibility for the storming of the Capitol last week, adding his comments to supporters were "totally appropriate".

Minutes before his supporters stormed the Capitol, Trump encouraged them to march on the seat of the nation’s government where lawmakers were tallying Electoral College votes confirming President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

As rioters were still in the Capitol, Trump released a video seemingly excusing the events, saying of the rioters: “We love you. You’re very special.”

Speaking to reporters ahead of a flight to Texas, Trump said attempts to impeach him following the insurrection was causing "tremendous anger" across the US, adding he wanted "no violence" during the protests last week.

The US president, who has just over a week left of his term, said the bid by senior Democrats to impeach him were "a continuation of the greatest witchhunt in the history of politics".

Democrats had previously tried to impeach Mr Trump in January last year over allegations he had solicited foreign interference in the presidential race against Joe Biden, but those attempts were unsuccessful.

Trump says US-Mexico border wall is complete

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr Trump said: "It's ridiculous. It's absolutely ridiculous. This impeachment is causing tremendous anger... it's a terrible thing that they're doing.

"For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it's causing tremendous danger to our country. I want no violence."

Five people died during last Wednesday's violence after thousands of Trump supporters stormed the home of US federal democracy.

A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot a woman during the violence. Three others died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.

The president's comments come after the FBI warned of plans for armed protests in all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.