Isolated Trump, cut off from social media, to leave Washington for Camp David

Democrats called for US president's removal and Republicans grow more distant

epa08925154 A 'Trump 2020' placard is submerged as the US Capitol Dome reflection is seen on the water of the US Capitol reflecting pool, in Washington, DC, USA, 07 January 2021, the morning after various groups of President Trump's supporters broke into the US Capitol and rioted as Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 US Presidential election.  EPA/GAMAL DIAB

US President Donald Trump was increasingly isolated on Thursday as social media companies locked his accounts, Republicans grew more distant and the Democratic leadership called for his immediate removal.

Thirteen days before the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and hours after a mob of pro-Trump rioters wreaked havoc on Capitol Hill, Mr Trump was not seen in public and cancelled a video appearance at a Republican retreat in Florida.

Mr Trump is expected to leave Washington for Camp David for the weekend, CBS reported.

On social media, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg banned Mr Trump from that platform and Instagram for "at least the next two weeks”, but it could be indefinite.

Mr Trump was initially barred from posting on his account for 24 hours.

“We are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete,” Mr Zuckerberg said.

"Over the past several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labelling his posts when they violate our policies.

"We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech.

"But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government."

Mr Trump has become progressively more sidelined over the past two weeks inside his own party.

Only seven senators – Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Roger Marshall, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Tommy Tuberville and John Kennedy – objected to Congress’s certification of Mr Biden’s win.

By early Thursday, Mr Trump, through his aide Dan Scavino, made a half-hearted concession and admitted for the first time that his presidency was over.

"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20," he said.

“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted.

"While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”

But on Thursday, the pressure kept growing from Democrats, who called for Mr Trump’s immediate removal.

“What happened at the US Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said.

"This president should not hold office one day longer.

“The quickest and most effective way – it can be done today – to remove this president from office would be for the vice president to immediately invoke the 25th amendment.

"If the vice president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president."

It is unclear whether Vice President Mike Pence, who accepted the election outcome, would invoke the 25th Amendment or if there were enough votes in Cabinet and Congress to remove Mr Trump.

At least four White House officials, including Mr Trump’s deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, have resigned in the past 24 hours.

His National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has left for Florida and is reportedly considering submitting his resignation.

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