WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Following Wednesday's riot on Capitol Hill that resulted in multiple arrests and four people dead, President Trump's supporters and opponents are reacting to the events.
Far from the chaos in Washington, Peter Feaman of Boynton Beach met Thursday with Republicans from across the country on Amelia Island in north Florida.
"We want to come out as quickly as we could to condemn this violence and condemn all violence," Feaman said.
Feaman, a GOP Florida delegate and Electoral College elector, said the storming and vandalizing of the capitol is not something that he expects will divide Republicans.
"I don't see any rift at all. What I see is a natural progression of us now looking ahead, and naturally, with Mr. Trump no longer the president, there won't be a distancing, it's just that Mr. Trump will no longer be the center of attention," Feaman said.
However, many seem to think Trump will try to remain the center of attention, especially in Florida, living at Mar-a-Lago and being active in the re-election races for Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
Nova Southeastern University political professor Charles Zelden expects Republicans will find it hard to ignore Trump.
"You're either going to see a fragmentation of the party, in which people leave the party, and there's an effort to form an alternate Republican party, or you're going to see a purging of anyone who didn't back Donald Trump," Zelden said. "I suspect in the next few years the fallout will be within the Republican Party. Tere will be purge lists. There will be primaries, and it'll be a fight for the heart and soul of the GOP."
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, a Democrat, said local law enforcement is ready if any political demonstrations get out of hand. Aronberg said what happened at the Capitol is likely to divide Republicans.
"The MAGA movement is showing its fissures with the Republican Party. The Republican Party is looking like its having some sort of internal Civil War between those defending Democracy and those who don't believe in Democracy," Aronberg said.