Trump: Guilty or Victim of the Crisis?

Trump: Guilty or Victim of the Crisis?
The Use of Social Media by Leaders in Times of Crisis (2020–21)

The United States House Select Committee investigating the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, in the USA has published its final report on December 22, 2022.

The 845-page report alleges Donald Trump, and his allies are guilty of crimes against the United States for their role in fomenting the Capitol riot and attempting to disrupt the orderly transition of power. The January 6 committee has referred Donald Trump to the justice department to face criminal charges, accusing the former president of fomenting an insurrection and conspiring against the government over his attempt to subvert the outcome of the 2020 election, and the attack on the US Capitol Hill.

For the first time in American history, Congress has referred a case against a former president.

When the post-election protests are analysed within the situational crisis communication theory framework, results similar to the committee’s report are obtained.

The January 6 committee’s report suggests that Donald J. Trump deliberately spread false allegations of election fraud. When the Facebook posts shared by Trump after the election are analysed within the framework of the situational crisis communication theory (SCCT), it is seen that most of Trump’s posts evaluated the election process within the ‘intentional cluster’ and suggested that there is an organisational conspiracy against him. In this context, Trump interacts with folks mostly by using the ‘victimage and scapegoat’ crisis response strategies, accusing others in the process, and claiming that he is the victim.

On the other hand, Joe Biden did not respond to Trump’s election fraud claims and protests in different states from the post-election period until January 6 and mostly shared information about his plans during the presidential process.

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