A movement to impeach Donald Trump is gaining considerable steam — online, at least.
In the wake of the president’s press conference in which he doubled down on his defense of white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, the hashtag #ImpeachTrump shot to the top of the social media site, garnering hundreds of thousands of tweets. The movement was sparked by the events that took place over the weekend, with the white supremacist demonstrators clashing with counter-protesters and an attack from an alleged neo-Nazi that left one person dead.
In the wake of the attack, Trump issued a statement that denounced the killing and claimed that there was violence “on many sides.” This brought bipartisan criticism for Trump’s failure to identify the racist elements of the demonstration and denounce white supremacists.
On Monday, Trump responded with a more fleshed-out statement that explicitly called out white supremacists, but he appeared to walk back those remarks on Tuesday. In a press conference, the president again blamed both sides for the violence and railed against the removal of Confederate statutes, questioning whether it would lead to the removal of statutes of Thomas Jefferson or George Washington.
As the New York Times noted, Trump took aim at what he called the “alt-left” and said not all of those who showed up to protest the removal of a Confederate statue were racists.
“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups,” he said. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”
“I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump added. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”
The press conference led to new criticism from many elected officials, including some prominent Republicans.
Online, there were growing calls to impeach Trump. The Twitter hashtag #ImpeachTrump remained the top one of the site for much of the day on Tuesday.
Both sides agree: Trump drove another nail into his own political coffin today. An unequivocal boost for the voices of sanity. #ImpeachTrump— Steve Redmond (@sjredmond) August 16, 2017
To every member of Congress - harsh words are not enough. You cannot allow a neo-Nazi defender to remain in power. #ImpeachTrump— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) August 15, 2017
The calls to impeach Trump and remove him from office were not just coming from angry Twitter users. As the Washington Examiner noted, lawmakers also renewed calls to have Trump removed from office, with some citing the 25th Amendment that allows for the removal of a president who is found to be physically or mentally unfit to hold office.
“POTUS is showing signs of erratic behavior and mental instability that place the country in grave danger,” Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, wrote in a tweet Tuesday night. “Time to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
Though there may be growing desire to impeach Donald Trump, the actual possibility of removing him from office is still seen as remote. In order to be removed from office, it would take a considerable number of Republicans to turn on Trump, including a two-thirds vote from the U.S. Senate.
[Featured Image by Olivier Doulieryl/ Pool/ Getty Images]