President-elect condemns Capitol violence: ‘This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition’
President-elect Joe Biden has demanded Donald Trump appear on national television to condemn his supporters’ violent riots at the US Capitol.
He urged the president to “fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”
“It’s not a protest – it’s insurrection,” he said in remarks from Delaware on Wednesday, “The world’s watching. I am genuinely shocked and sad that our nation, so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy, has come to such a dark moment.”
As a joint session of Congress convened to formally count electoral college votes from the 2020 presidential election, the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to overturn the results.
Moments after the president-elect’s remarks, Trump posted a pre-taped message to his social media, falsely insisting that the election was “stolen” from his supporters and that he won “in a landslide” before telling rioters to “go home now.”
“We have to have peace, we have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order,” he said. “This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people.”
The president-elect said he was not concerned about his safety at his inauguration, set for 20 January.
“I am not concerned about my safety, security or the inauguration,” he told reporters. “I’m not concerned. The American people are going to stand up, stand up now. Enough is enough is enough.”
“What we’re seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness,” he said. “This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition, and it must end now.”
He called the riots an “assault on the citadel of liberty” and “an assault on the people’s representatives and the Capitol Hill police sworn to protect them, and the public servants who work at the heart of our republic.”
Members of Congress were preparing to return to the Capitol to complete the count of electoral votes as Capitol police cleared the halls of Congress, after mobs broke windows, carried Confederate flags into the Capitol, breached security, aimed fire extinguishers at people inside and have attempted to storm into congressional chambers, where members have taken shelter under chairs. At least one person was shot and is in critical condition.
Capitol police told congressional staff that “due to a security threat” to immediately move into nearby offices or find a place to hide or seek cover and stay away from external doors and windows.
Police and federal law enforcement have secured the Capitol and evacuated remaining staff, reporters and members of Congress.
“Notwithstanding what we’ve seen today, I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities,” Mr Biden said in prepared remarks.
“There has never been anything we can’t do when we do it together,” he said. “This God-awful display today is bringing home to every Republican, Democrat and Independent in the nation that we must step up.”
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News – Biden demands Trump make national address to end Capitol siege