What makes Nancy Pelosi so driven

After storming the Capitol"Even Trump realized he had taken it too far"

After the attack on the Capitol by his supporters, the incumbent US President Donald Trump is increasingly isolated. His multiple social media accounts are temporarily suspended. Republican party friends turn their backs on him. Leading Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are calling for Trump to be impeached before the official end of his term on January 20. Republicans also followed suit.

(imago images | UPI Photo) "Shameful for the entire nation"
The American political scientist Jackson Janes is dismayed by the unrest in Washington. The question now is how to control Trump's unpredictability in the last two weeks of his tenure, Janes said in the Dlf.

Meanwhile, Trump has condemned the rampage of his supporters. In a video distributed on Twitter, Trump was outraged, condemned the attack on the Capitol as a hideous attack and announced criminal prosecution for the rioters. He also promised to ensure a smooth and smooth transition to his successor Joe Biden. Now is the moment for healing and reconciliation, said Trump.

Kornblum: It's too late for Trump

For the former US ambassador in Berlin, John Kornblum, these surprisingly conciliatory words are a sign that Trump has realized that he has gone too far. There is no question that Trump incited his supporters to storm the Capitol. Now he row back. According to Kornblum, however, it is now too late.

(Consolidated News Photos) "Joe Biden's Job is to Pacify the Nation"
The publicist Constanze Stelzenm├╝ller is certain that the unrest in the USA is not over yet. Donald Trump shows no understanding and parts of the Republican Party are still behind him, she said in the Dlf.

Kornblum said he could not say whether the storm on the Capitol was an attempted coup instigated by the president, as a US historian claims. With Trump, it is always very difficult to judge whether his actions are really politico-strategic or just come from his deeply wounded interior.



The interview in full length:

Christoph Heinemann: Mr. Kornblum, the historian Michael Beschloss speaks of an attempted coup, instigated by the President of the United States. Do you share this review?

John Kornblum: It can be, but with Trump it is always very difficult to understand or determine whether his strategy is right political, strategic, or whether it just comes from his deep wounded interior, his narcissism, as they say. I have the feeling that sometimes he does very funny things that politicians and analysts like Mr. Beschloss see as a political strategy, but actually come from deep inside, because he is very wounded and very torn.

"He covered that"

Heinemann: Donald Trump has now expressed himself in a video message, he is talking about a change of office on January 20th and a moment of healing and reconciliation, and we want to listen to that briefly again, this small excerpt. (Original sound from Trump). So Trump condemns the violence he has encouraged. How does that fit together?

Kornblum: Well, he realized that he had overdone all of this, that he had instigated this attack, if you want, that he himself had created this condition, there is no question. Just hear his words when he spoke in front of the Washington Monument the day before yesterday. There's no question that he instigated it. And he went overboard, and even he realized that he had taken it too far. Now he's rowing back very, very quickly, but I think it's too late for him. The Democrats, who won two Senate seats in Georgia and now have a majority in the Senate, will really corner him, either through impeachment or they might try to get Vice President Pence to do it himself through the 25th Amendment, But Trump is really in a tight spot now. Now, when he tries to be reconciling, we know that he knows that he really is in a difficult position.

"He'll end up sitting almost alone in the White House"

Heinemann: Can he stay in office for another twelve days?

Kornblum: I suppose it is because it's a very short time too. But he will be under constant pressure, he will always be on the defensive. Either impeachment proceedings are under way or something else is attempted to get him under control. Half of his cabinet has already resigned, and there are probably more who do. He'll end up sitting there almost alone in the White House. He's a classic example of tragedy, if you will, someone who really thinks he can do anything and pull it over and end up alone with more or less nothing.

(AFP / GETTY / HERISS MAY /) COMMENT -The coup plotters are all still in office and dignity After the storming of the US Capitol, the Republicans now have to face their joint responsibility for the failed coup, comments USA correspondent Doris Simon. For far too long they would have supported the president and shamelessly lied along with the story of the stolen election victory.

Heinemann: Mr. Kornblum, is there a connection between Donald Trump's proximity to right-wing extremists such as the so-called Proud Boys and conspiracy theorists of the QAnon movement and the riots in the US Congress?

Kornblum: Yes i suppose I think they were the same people. There is now endless analysis on TV and in the newspapers as to who that was. Some of them were, if you like, normal citizens who are somehow taken with Trump, who really had nothing on violence or anything else on their mind. But there was a core that was really very aggressive and that really wanted to try, one must say, in the spirit of Trump, [...] the counting of the votes that have already been confirmed - maybe they really had the feeling that they could somehow turn the campaign around. I think this connection is very clear here.

"Trump is gradually disappearing as a factor in the party"

Heinemann: Some Republicans have now turned their backs on Trump, others like Ted Cruz are continuing to act on behalf of the president. What are the consequences of the occupation of the Capitol for the Republican Party?

Kornblum: First, I think Trump is gradually disappearing, not immediately, but gradually as a factor in the party. He will try to keep his role going, but it has been very, very damaged by that Capitol affair. First, that. Second, there is this group of very convinced people who support Trump or perhaps also Trump's ideas very much, have the feeling that they have been exploited, who are alienated from society. And what we're seeing from Cruz, Senator Hawley, and a few others is an attempt to somehow connect with those people and, if you want, be Trump's successor.

During the riots at the Capitol, Trump supporters attacked media workers and destroyed their equipment. How journalists experienced the situation, what role social media played and how the media should deal with the self-portrayal of the demonstrators - an overview.

Heinemann: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris now have two years before the next congressional election. What do you absolutely have to do by then?

Kornblum: Yes, time is very short. You got a gift from heaven, so to speak, that you actually didn't expect, that was the two seats in Georgia. Now they have a majority in the Senate, which means it's 50/50, but the Vice President, the Vice President in this case, is the tie-breaker that creates the majority for the Democrats. And the agenda is endlessly long and endlessly difficult - starting with Corona, starting with financial support from the people who became unemployed as a result of Corona, starting with restructuring the economy, with infrastructure programs, with health policy - the American health system is really pretty devastated at the moment. I could do several other things - climate policy, including restructuring foreign policy, restoring good, positive relations, for example with European allies. The agenda is endless and every politician knows that he has two years until the next election. The rule in America is that the incumbent president loses votes in so-called midterm elections.

"Democracies are pretty disoriented beings"

Heinemann: Mr. Kornblum, dictatorships all over the world are laughing up their sleeves. In Beijing and Minsk, the regimes untruthfully compare the rioters with the freedom fighters in Hong Kong or Belarus, and the Iranian rulers thought out loud about the instability of the democracies. To what extent have the images from Washington damaged the image of the United States and the image of parliamentary democracy?

Kornblum: Oh, something, but not permanently. Democracies are very vague and rather disoriented beings, that has always been the case. And I've been there long enough to cite a great many examples where the image, the role of the United States has been called into question as much as it is now. That doesn't mean that everything can be retrieved automatically, but it does mean that the damage is not permanent. It is now up to Biden to restore the respect and role of the United States. But it is not permanent and dangerous, and we are still much, much stronger than in authoritarian states.

"A harbinger of what is also happening in Europe"

Heinemann: The pictures from Washington reminded us of the pictures from Berlin: In August people penetrated the premises of the German Bundestag. What should democracies learn from Donald Trump's tenure?

Kornblum: You raised my favorite point. I think it is very important that all democracies, whether this is North America, whether this is Europe or even Australia, have to understand that we are entering a very unclear and even possibly dangerous phase where the structures and also the behavior of the voters from the very long post-war period are gradually changing, where the old institutions, but also the old or existing goals of the voters change very quickly, where technology pretty much confuses everything, and we all have to live with these American conditions. We know that this term has been used very often in Germany over the past few years, mostly in a negative way. The American conditions are actually a harbinger of what is also happening in Europe. I also thought of how people tried - much, much less and without success - to storm the Reichstag a few months ago, and that shows that the tendency that exists in America also exists in Western European countries . We have to be very alert and very vigilant.

Statements by our interlocutors reflect their own views. Deutschlandfunk does not adopt statements made by its interlocutors in interviews and discussions as its own.