How did Danish political leaders react to violence in Washington DC?

How did Danish political leaders react to violence in Washington DC?
Danish PM Mette Frederiksen. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix
Danish politicians and commentators have condemned a night of violence in the capital city of the US, after a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and other leading political figures in Denmark last night commented on the scenes in the United States as Trump supporters entered the government building in Washington, DC.

In a statement issued by the prime minister’s office, Frederiksen said that “Extremism, violence, polarisation and chaos are never the way forward. Horrifying images from Washington. May democracy be brought to work again”.

Frederiksen's statement did not blame Trump for the actions of his supporters, nor in fact did it mention him by name. That stands in contrast to the reaction of Stefan Löfven, the prime minister of neighbouring Sweden, who said that “President Trump and several members of Congress bear substantial responsibility for developments”.

Former Danish government leaders did refer to Trump directly. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Frederiksen’s predecessor as PM, said he was “deeply saddened” by the scenes and called on Trump to address the nation to “stop this disgraceful madness”.

Another former Danish prime minister and former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the events a “sad day for American democracy and for all of us who look to America for moral leadership.”

“Democracy will prevail over the mob, but the damage Trump is doing to American democracy plays straight into Moscow and Beijing’s playbook,” Fogh Rasmussen said.

Former justice minister Søren Pind, who served under Løkke Rasmussen, called the actions of the Trump supporters “high treason”.

The current leader of the opposition centre-right Liberal party, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, wrote that the images from Washington DC were “deeply disturbing”.

“It’s a reminder we can never take anything for granted, including democracy,” Ellemann-Jensen wrote, adding he is “looking forward to Joe Biden being inaugurated as new president”.

Danish Conservative party leader Søren Pape Poulsen also tweeted, calling the scenes “terrible” and “deeply, deeply shocking” and criticised “the opponents of democracy” without mentioning Trump directly.

Denmark’s populist right wing party, the Danish People’s Party, is led by Kristian Thulesen Dahl. In his tweet, Dahl called the Trump supporters in the Capitol building “fanatics” and said they should be “stopped and made to take responsibility (for their actions)”.

“The USA has elected Joe Biden as the next president. That must be respected!”, Dahl also wrote.

Some social media commenters criticised the use of the term 'demonstrators' in Danish media to refer to the pro-Trump mob.


 


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