Four stabbed in clashes at pro-Trump 'stop the steal' rally in Washington

Stop the Steal, a group linked to Trump ally Roger Stone, conservative organisations and church groups were involved in arranging the protest

Marine One, carrying U.S. President Donald Trump, passes over people attending a rally to protest the results of the election in front of Supreme Court building, in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Four people were stabbed after clashes erupted at a pro-Trump rally in Washington, DC.

Authorities made 23 arrests.

The stabbing victims were in critical condition, according to the Washington DC Metropolitan Police's public affairs department.

Four stabbed, one shot in clashes at pro-Trump rally

Four stabbed, one shot in clashes at pro-Trump rally

A crowd rallied in the US capital on Saturday in support of President Donald Trump and his allegations that the presidential election was stolen.

The president, riding in his official helicopter, flew over the cheering crowd. Thousands joined the protest.

Later in the evening, skirmishes were reported after counter-protesters appeared at the location.

Police, some in anti-riot gear, used their bodies and bicycles to keep the pro-Trump and counter-protesters apart.

There was also at least one clash between police and counter-protesters.

The clashes in Washington came a day after the Supreme Court threw out a plea to overturn the results in four key states, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
In the crowd for the protest were supporters of several c onservative groups, but also about 200 who claimed to be Proud Boys – a group with a record of violence.

As Marine One, the president’s official helicopter, flew overhead, Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who was pardoned by Mr Trump, was speaking on stage.

“That’s pretty cool. Imagine just being able to jump in a helicopter and just go for a joyride around Washington,” said Mr Flynn, a retired army general.

The outgoing president was officially flying to see the traditional Army-Navy football game at West Point Military Academy, in New York state.
"Whatever the ruling was yesterday ... everybody take a deep, deep breath," Mr Flynn said.

Mr Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with a former Russian ambassador, was making his first public address since his pardon last month.
"My charge to you is to go back to where you are from" and make demands, he told the crowd, without being more specific. The US Constitution is "not about collective liberty it is about individual liberties, and they designed it that way", Mr Flynn said.

Stop The Steal, a group linked to pro-Trump operative Roger Stone, conservative organisations and church groups, were involved in arranging the protest.
Trump supporters carrying flags and signs made their way in small knots towards Congress and the Supreme Court through Washington's city centre, which was shut off to traffic.

Few protesters wore masks, despite soaring Covid-19 deaths and cases, and despite a DC mayoral directive for them to be worn outside.
Several thousand people rallied in Washington, fewer than during a similar protest last month.
About 200 Proud Boys were seen joining the march near the Trump Hotel in the city. Many wore combat fatigues, ballistic vests and carried helmets.

An articulated vehicle flew Trump 2020 flags and a sign reading "Trump Unity" while blaring the country song God Bless the USA.
Some Washington protesters echoed far-right conspiracy theories about the election.
"It's clear the election has been stolen," said Mark Paul Jones, of Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, who wore a tricorne Revolutionary War hat.

More than 50 federal and state court rulings have upheld Mr Biden’s victory.