President Donald Trump slammed Congress for weighing a second impeachment of him this week, accusing Democrats of the "continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics."
"It's ridiculous—absolutely ridiculous," Trump told reporters before departing the White House for a visit to the southern U.S. border in Texas. "This impeachment is causing tremendous anger, and it's really a terrible thing that they're doing."
It was his first public address since his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, attempting to stop the certification of Joe Biden's election as president.
"I think it's causing tremendous danger to our country and it's causing tremendous anger," he said.
Trump previously released videos produced by the White House denouncing the riot. Trump has since lost access to Twitter, his go-to platform for speaking to supporters directly.
"They are making a catastrophic mistake," he said of his loss of social media access.
Biden will be sworn in on January 20. Trump, who urged his supporters to go to the Capitol after a mass rally last week, refused to concede the race until after the riot broke out.
Trump defended his role when talking to reporters Tuesday, arguing that his speech didn't incite the violence that broke out.
"People thought what I said was totally appropriate," he said. "We want no violence."
He also compared the riot to summer protests over police brutality in Portland, Oregon and other areas of the country.
"That was a real problem," he said.
Five people died in the Capitol siege, including a police officer. Several members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence, who served a ceremonial role over the election certification, had to be whisked to safety as the mob smashed windows, broke into offices and engaged in an armed standoff with law enforcement.
The U.S. House this week is expected to vote on whether Trump should be impeached over the ordeal just days before leaving office. The House last year impeached Trump, accusing him of attempting to pressure Ukraine's leader to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, but the U.S. Senate voted against the effort to remove Trump from office.
Trump is traveling to Alamo, Texas to view a section of the border wall built since he's been in office. It's his first public event since last week's riot.
"The wall has made a tremendous difference on the southern border," Trump said. "It's been tremendously successful, far beyond what anyone thought."