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U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, takes off a mask during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on "COVID-19/Unemployment Insurance" on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.

(The Center Square) – U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio put some of the blame of last week’s Capitol riots on President Donald Trump’s shoulders and expressed deep concern over FBI reports of the potential for more violence in Washington, D.C., and state capitols around the country.

“Both in his words before the attack on the Capitol and in his address afterward, President Trump bears some responsibility for what happened January 6,” Portman, an Ohio Republican, said in a statement.

Portman said the president must urge his supporters to refrain from violence following FBI reports that say armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from this weekend through at least Jan. 20. The FBI also said additional threats have been made if President Trump is removed from office before Jan. 20.

“We are now hearing from the FBI and others about the threat of additional violence in Washington, D.C. and at state capitols around the country between now and President-elect Biden’s inauguration on January 20,” Portman said. “These reports are deeply concerning. Violence is never the answer, and we must take all threats seriously. The orderly and peaceful transfer of power on January 20 is a hallmark of our democracy.”

Portman wants Trump to make a national address calling for peace.

“Today, I call on President Trump to address the nation and explicitly urge his supporters to remain peaceful and refrain from violence,” Portman said. “If our nation experiences additional violence and destruction at the hands of his supporters in Washington, D.C. and state capitols around the country, and he does not directly and unambiguously speak out now when threats are known, he will bear responsibility.”

Portman said it’s a time for healing and working toward solving other challenges facing the country.

“We need to come together to face enormous challenges, including the going COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine distribution, the worsening drug addiction epidemic and the economic crisis caused by COVID-19,” Portman said. “I look forward to working with the Biden administration and my colleagues to address these and many other priorities on behalf of Ohio and our nation.”

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.