President Donald Trump early on Thursday committed to "an orderly transition" of power soon after Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's election win, and following the storming of the Capitol by a mob of violent Trump supporters.
In a statement released by the White House, the president again made false claims about the outcome of the election. Twitter suspended Trump's account for 12 hours Wednesday after he continued to push conspiracy theories about the election after the chaos at the Capitol.
Overnight, Congress reconvened and counted the electoral votes Biden's victory. After some objections, the count of Biden's 306 votes to President Donald Trump's 232 was finished in proceedings that lasted until 3:40 a.m.
This live coverage has ended. Continue reading about the aftermath of the rioting at the Capitol.
Read the highlights:
-The woman shot in the Capitol amid violent breach of the complex has died.
-Biden condemns "insurrection."
-Jon Ossoff defeats David Perdue in Georgia, handing control of the Senate to Democrats, NBC News projects.
-Defying Trump, Pence says he won't overturn the 2020 election.
Defying Trump, Pence says he won't overturn the 2020 election
Vice President Mike Pence said in a letter released to Congress just before it started counting the electoral votes handing Joe Biden the presidency that he won't try to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which President Donald Trump had been demanding he do.
"I do not believe that the founders of our country intended to invest the vice president with unilateral authority to decide which electoral voters should be counted during the Joint session of Congress, and no vice president in American history has ever asserted such authority," he wrote in a three-page letter released by his office.
"Instead, vice presidents presiding over joint sessions has uniformly follow the Electoral Count Act, conducting the proceedings in an orderly manner even where the count resulted in the defeat of their party or their own candidacy," he added.
Sens. Tillis, Young to oppose GOP colleagues' electoral vote count objections
GOP Sens. Thom Tillis and Todd Young said Wednesday that they oppose the planned effort by members of their party to object to the counting of states' electoral votes by Congress on Wednesday.
"The framers of our Constitution made it clear that the power to certify elections is reserved to the states, not Congress. Refusing to certify state election results has no viable path to success, and most importantly, it lends legitimacy to the left’s stated policy objectives of completely federalizing elections and eliminating the Electoral College," Tillis, who won re-election in November after a close race in North Carolina, said in a statement. "Congress should not overstep its Constitutional authority by overturning the results of states and the will of American voters, especially absent legitimate requests from states for Congress to intervene."
Both he and Young of Indiana warned that the GOP objections would set a dangerous precedent.
"For Congress to supplant the will of a state’s certified electors for its own would be unconstitutional and set a dangerous precedent, damaging the integrity of and future respect for the Electoral College. This is not an empty warning," Young said in a statement.
Trump supporters mass on the National Mall in protest of electoral count
Manchin: 'I’m the most bipartisan member of Congress'
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said he has no interest in switching parties and becoming a Republican.
“I’m the most bipartisan member of Congress,” Manchin told NBC News in the Capitol on Wednesday as he walked to get his second coronavirus vaccine injection. “I’m staying the most independent, bipartisan member of Congress,” he said, adding, “I am a Democrat.”
Manchin, who has at times sided with Republicans in the Senate, could become one of the most powerful members of the chamber should the power be divided 50-50 if Jon Ossoff prevails in the Georgia Senate race he currently leads.
Photo: Proud Boys march at Capitol
Schumer says $2,000 stimulus checks will be top priority
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday that, if Ossoff wins his Senate race, one of his first priorities as majority leader would be to bring legislation for $2,000 Covid-19 relief checks to the floor.
"The Senate Democratic majority is committed to delivering the bold change, and help that Americans need and demand. Senate Democrats know America is hurting. Help is on the way. And we have two new senators coming to help. One of the first things that I want to do when our new senators are seated is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families," Schumer said.
Democrats won't be able to pass the bill without support from some Republicans since such a funding measure requires 60 votes to advance.
Schumer said he spoke to President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday morning and pledged to him that he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris "will have a partner in me and my caucus, who is ready, willing and able to help achieve a forward-looking agenda and deliver bold change to the American people. For too long, much-needed help has been stalled or diluted by a Republican-led Senate, and President Trump, that will change with a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House, and a Democratic president."
Sen. James Lankford says he plans to object to at least Arizona's electoral vote count
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told reporters Wednesday that he plans to object to the counting of Arizona's electoral votes for Biden when Congress counts them starting at 1 p.m. ET.
Reporters on Capitol Hill asked if he had decided which states he planned to object to, and Lankford said, "I have, yeah. We’ll start with Arizona. So we'll let that go from there."
Lankford, who faces re-election in 2022, said there's a possibility he might object to more states as well.
GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Braun of Indiana and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama also plan to object to at least Arizona.
Trump supporters rally against electoral count with 'Joseph Stalin' sign
Supporters of President Donald Trump raised a sign bearing a likeness of Biden as "Joseph Stalin" at a protest in Washington, D.C., over Congress' counting of Biden's Electoral College win.
Romney reacts to Georgia: Telling people the election is rigged 'not a great way to turn out your voters'
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, suggested to reporters Wednesday that Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud hurt Republicans in Georgia's runoff Senate elections.
"It turns out that telling the voters that the election is rigged is not a great way to turn out your voters," Romney said when asked for his reaction to Tuesday's results in which Warnock won and Ossoff has the edge in his race, which NBC News says is too close to call.
Asked what kind of majority leader Chuck Schumer would be, Romney said, "Not as good as Mitch McConnell would have been and has been."
He continued, "I think the gambit we're seeing today is very disappointing. President Trump has disrespected the American voters, has dishonored the election system and has disgraced the office of the presidency. I'm confident we'll proceed as the Constitution demands and tell our supporters the truth, whether or not they want to hear it."
Biden congratulates Georgia Democrats, pushes for unity
President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday congratulated Raphael Warnock on his victory over Sen. Kelly Loeffler and predicted Jon Ossoff would win his race over David Perdue, saying the new Democratic majority in the Senate meant it was "time to turn the page."
But despite the Democrats' expectation that Democrats would emerge with a majority in the Senate, Biden continued to stress the message of unity he pushed during his presidential campaign, saying in a statement that he was "just as determined today as I was yesterday to try to work with people in both parties — at the federal, state, and local levels — to get big things done for our nation.”
"After the past four years, after the election, and after today’s election certification proceedings on the Hill, it’s time to turn the page. The American people demand action and they want unity. I am more optimistic than I ever have been that we can deliver both," Biden said.
NBC has labeled the race between Ossoff and Perdue too close to call.
Celine Dion's 'Titanic' love theme on the soundtrack at pro-Trump protest
As hundreds of pro-Trump protesters massed near the White House on Wednesday morning to protest the November election results, several pop songs were piped through loudspeakers — including Celine Dion's theme song from the film "Titanic."
"My Heart Will Go On," a staple on Trump rally playlists, played as protesters chanted "USA!" and waved anti-Biden banners. "Titanic," a romance set aboard the ocean liner that crashed into an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean, won the best picture Oscar in 1998.
Senior Ga. elections official predicts Ossoff's lead will grow
Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling said Jon Ossoff's lead over David Perdue in the remaining Senate runoff race was only likely to grow as more votes come in Wednesday morning.
"Looking at what's out there, it looks like Ossoff will end up keeping the lead he gained this morning with the latest upload we had and pad it some, but I'm not going to estimate yet because I don't know exactly where all the votes are yet," Sterling said on CNN.
"We are looking at a little over 65,000 votes still outstanding mainly from the absentees that came in yesterday. ... The majority of ballots coming in will be coming in from strongly Democrat areas," Sterling said. "We likely will see the leads of the Democrat challengers increase as we go through the morning, and hopefully we will have a very clear picture of how many votes are left by around lunchtime."
Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler Tuesday, NBC News projected, while Ossoff is leading Perdue in the remaining critical runoff election that will determine control of the Senate and potentially the fate of Joe Biden’s presidency. As of Wednesday morning, Ossoff led Perdue by about 17,000 votes, 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent.
AOC outlines what to push for next
The prospect of a unified government if Jon Ossoff defeats David Perdue has New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats outlining their future policy plans.
While Ossoff currently leads Perdue, NBC News has labeled the race too close to call.
How the Biden team is framing Georgia result — and the road ahead
As President-elect Joe Biden plans to speak about the economy today, he’ll point to the Georgia results as yet another clear mandate from the American people to act on the key challenges facing the country — Covid-19, the economy, climate and racial justice.
A Biden advisor cast the result as further evidence that Biden’s core argument in the campaign was validated by voters, both in the primary that he was the best Democrat to expand the playing field with a broad coalition anchored in African Americans and suburban voters, and in the general election that the country wants to see both parties work together.
The advisor noted Biden’s closing pitch in Atlanta on Monday was the same as the two Democratic candidates’: a vote for Democrats was a vote for $2,000 stimulus check and other urgently needed relief for the American people.
That argument stood in clear contrast to what Republicans have been doing since the general election: “chasing President Trump down a losing rabbit hole of election fraud in an effort to overturn the will of the people,” the adviser said.
Another Biden adviser summed it up this way: “Democrats were focused on Jan. 5 and Republicans were focused on Jan. 6.”
As some Democrats now want to see Biden push the envelope and use even narrow Democratic majorities to advance their agenda, the first Biden adviser stressed that the president-elect, even with the victories, “is just as committed to working across the aisle” now as he was before.
“You still need to build consensus, work across the aisle, govern for everyone. And that is what he’ll do,” the adviser said.
Pelosi declares victory in both Ga. Senate races, pushes for Voting Rights Act
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday declared victory in the two Georgia Senate runoff races, praising "the courageous leadership of Georgians" and crediting it with providing "a Democratic Senate working hand-in-hand with our Democratic House majority and President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris."
Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler Tuesday, NBC News has projected, while Democrat Jon Ossoff is leading Republican David Perdue by a razor-thin margin in the remaining critical runoff election in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate and potentially the fate of Joe Biden’s presidency. NBC News has labeled the race too close to call.
“Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff ran and won on the values of advancing equality and opportunity for working people across the state and the nation," Pelosi said in a statement, adding that "a unified Democratic Party will advance extraordinary progress For The People."
"We will pursue a science and values-based plan to crush the virus and deliver relief to struggling families, safeguard the right to quality affordable health care and launch a plan to Build Back Better powered by fair economic growth," she said.
On a weekly call with House Democrats Wednesday morning, Pelosi also told her colleagues that she has already spoken to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who, if Ossoff wins, will become the Senate majority leader, and said that Democrats must pass the Voting Rights Act, which would allow federal oversight of jurisdictions that pass laws suppressing the vote in communities of color, sources told NBC News.
Hillary Clinton on Mitch McConnell's predicted status change
Hillary Clinton posted a simple message on Mitch McConnell's predicted change in status based on Democrat Jon Ossoff and Democrats' claims of victory in his race against Republican David Perdue. NBC News, however, has listed the race as too close to call, but with Ossoff leading.
Mayor Bowser says D.C. has a chance of becoming a state if Ossoff wins
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday said that if Ossoff winds up winning his race and Democrats take control of the Senate, her city has a chance of becoming a state.
“We know now that it's looking like we will have the White House, the House,” she said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe. "And fingers crossed, that the Democrats win in the Senate and this can be a 100-day priority, DC statehood for our next president."
Addressing the protests in D.C. on Wednesday, Bowser said that she's asked residents to avoid the area and not hold counter-protests.
“Our residents are staying away, letting them have their protests, but our police are going to make sure that our law is followed,” Bowser added.
Senator-elect Raphael Warnock celebrates projected win
Biden to deliver speech on small businesses affected by Covid
President-elect Joe Biden will deliver brief remarks on the economy in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday afternoon.
A Biden transition official tells NBC News that the president-elect will deliver remarks "outlining his commitment to ensuring direct relief reaches the small businesses that need help the most, with a focus on Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American small business owners who need additional resources to reopen and rebuild."
"He will also reiterate his commitment to rooting out waste, fraud and abuse and ensuring Federal assistance goes to the businesses who not only deserve it, but are playing a role in rebuilding their communities," the official added.
Biden is set to deliver his remarks at 2:30 p.m. ET. Prior to his speech, he will receive the President’s Daily Brief and a briefing from members of his economic team.
Harris will be on Hill for Electoral College count
According to a Harris Senate aide: Vice President-elect Harris will be on the Hill today to fulfill her duties in the Senate. The American people did their job and today she will be there to do hers.
Schumer declares victory in Georgia, calls himself Senate majority leader
Democratic leader Chuck Schumer declared victory in Georgia Wednesday morning, though NBC News projects that the race between Ossoff and Perdue is still too close to call.
“As Majority Leader, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will have a partner who is ready, willing and able to help achieve a forward-looking agenda and deliver help and bold change to the American people," Schumer said in a statement.
If Ossoff wins his race, Schumer would not be majority leader until Jan. 20 when Biden is inaugurated. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would serve as the tie-breaking vote in a 50-50 Senate.
Before his statement was released, Schumer tweeted Wednesday morning, "Buckle up!"
Ossoff now leads Perdue in Senate race, NBC News projects
Democrat Jon Ossoff is now leading in his race against Republican David Perdue, whose Senate term expired Sunday, but the contest is still too close to call, NBC News projects.
'Do it Mike': Trump encourages Pence to overturn election — which he can't do
Trump tweeted Wednesday morning to urge Pence to try to overturn Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election when he counts the Electoral College votes in Congress later in the day.
Pence, however, has no power to do that. Biden will become president on Jan. 20.
"All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage," he tweeted. Again, Pence can't do that.
Ossoff declares victory in Senate race that's still too close to call
Ossoff declared victory in a live video statement at 8 a.m. ET Wednesday in his race against Republican David Perdue whose Senate term expired over the weekend and who ran for re-election.
NBC News projects that the race is too close to call. With 98 percent of the vote in, Ossoff leads by 0.4 percentage point.
"It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia, for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate, thank you for the confidence and trust that you have placed in me," Ossoff said.
"I am honored, honored by your support, by your confidence by your trust, and I will look forward to serving you in the United States Senate with integrity with humility, with honor and getting things done for the people of Georgia," he added.
Warnock celebrates Senate victory: Georgia voters 'heard a very clear contrast'
Democrat Raphael Warnock celebrated his victory Wednesday morning in his special Senate runoff election against Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
"I can't tell you how honored I am that the people of my home state where I was born and raised and educated at Morehouse College have decided to send me to the United States Senate to represent their concerns at this defining moment in American history, [at] a time when people are suffering in so many ways," Warnock said in an interview on NBC's "TODAY" show.
Warnock said that the people of Georgia heard a "very clear contrast" in the race.
"I talked about how I intend to represent them," he said, "And my opponent was focused on how she would represent her own interests. And I think the folks heard that loud and clear.
Warnock noted that people have been waiting for economic relief for months, and Congress was unable to pass $2,000 direct checks in the latest aid package.
Addressing the country's divisiveness, Warnock, a reverend, said that he has experience bringing people together across racial and religious lines on a range of issues such as voting rights and criminal justice reform.
Loeffler's projected defeat in Georgia Senate election highlights failed Republican strategy
ATLANTA — First Martha McSally lost. Then Kelly Loeffler. And their failures might cost Republicans control of the Senate.
The two women were appointed by Republican governors to open Senate seats in Arizona and Georgia, respectively. The theory was that they'd be able to hold on to President Donald Trump's base while appealing to suburban women who were fleeing the GOP.
The strategy flopped.
McSally, who was appointed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey one month after losing a different Senate seat, was defeated by Democrat Mark Kelly in November. And Loeffler, who was appointed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and took office one year ago, was unseated by Democrat Raphael Warnock, a Black pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church here, NBC News projected early Wednesday morning.
The two women found themselves spending more time trying to earn the support of Trump's passionate base, with which they had little connection beyond party affiliation. That gave Democrats an opening to caricature them as pawns of the president and a party establishment that was using them.
DC Police make several arrests ahead of major pro-Trump election protest
Several people were arrested in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in connection to protests ahead of Congress' certification of the Electoral College votes on Wednesday.
Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police said six arrests were made as of 9 p.m. ET, including some involving multiple charges. Those charges included a handful that were weapons-related, including carrying firearms without a license, possession of unregistered ammunition and possession of an unregistered firearm. Protesters were also charged with assaulting a police officer and simple assault.
Trump to address D.C. rally where as many as 30,000 people are expected
Ahead of the counting of the electoral votes on Capitol Hill, Trump plans to address a "Save America Rally" in downtown Washington at 11 a.m. ET.
A National Park Service spokesman told NBC News that organizers expect as many as 30,000 people at the event near the White House. The permit originally was submitted for a crowd size of 10,000, but the group has tripled its estimate based on responses and people already in the D.C. area as of Tuesday, according to the official.
A number of streets have been blocked off throughout the nation’s capital, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has called in the National Guard as a precaution.
Fact check: No, Pence can't overturn the election results
Trump claimed on Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence could singlehandedly reject certain electors during Congress' certification process, turning up the pressure on him to help overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,” Trump tweeted.
This is false.
Pence, in his role as president of the Senate, is scheduled to preside over Congress' certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election on Wednesday, as detailed by the 12th Amendment. But he cannot intervene in the process.
Trump leans harder on Pence to flip election results, though he lacks that power
President Donald Trump turned up the pressure on Tuesday to enlist Vice President Mike Pence in a futile effort to reverse the outcome of the presidential election and keep them in office for another four years.
With a president who has excelled at remaining the focus of Washington during his time in office, Pence has largely played the role of quiet support character, never publicly rebuking his boss and sticking to his script with unwavering consistency.
But Trump's ongoing effort to keep from being evicted from the White House on Jan. 20 has pushed Pence into the limelight and left him in a position one person close to Trump said he is "dreading."
Congress is set to count the Trump-Biden Electoral College votes. Here's the lowdown.
It's the final step in certifying the next president of the United States, but the Electoral College vote count in Congress on Wednesday is expected to be a much longer — and more contentious — affair than normal.
Verifying the vote count is constitutionally required, but it has become largely procedural — electors officially cast their votes on Dec. 14, and Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump by 306-232, a result Trump referred to as a "landslide" when he won with the same numbers in 2016. Unlike Trump then, Biden also won the popular vote, garnering 7 million more votes than Trump.
Some Republican lawmakers plan to use the congressional vote count to object to Biden's wins in numerous swing states in a Hail Mary-type bid to keep Trump in the White House. The objections are expected to fail, but they could turn the typically short ceremony into an hours- or even days-long event.
Trump allies hope Wednesday's drama will be his last stand — but no one knows what's next
President Donald Trump's allies are hoping Wednesday marks his last stand in a weekslong effort to challenge the November election results, with multiple people close to Trump privately acknowledging that his options will be exhausted once Congress tabulates the Electoral College votes.
"It's hard to see anything beyond tomorrow," a senior administration official said Tuesday, adding that already everyone, including Trump, views efforts by dozens of Republicans in Congress to stop or delay the tabulation as "uphill."
Yet people close to Trump also say he still may not relent after this final step in the election process, given that his determination to overturn the results has only intensified despite its having failed multiple times — including state certifications and the Electoral College meeting last month — and scores of legal defeats.
"It's going to get worse before it gets better," one of Trump's allies said. "He's lost re-election. So for somebody who has no sense of shame, there's no downside to him letting all the crazy out."
Fact check: Trump falsely suggests improper 'voter dump' as count continues in Georgia
While the nation waited for the results in Georgia’s Senate runoff elections, President Donald Trump on Tuesday wrongly suggested that the normal process of counting votes was a sign of fraud.
“Looks like they are setting up a big 'voter dump' against the Republican candidates. Waiting to see how many votes they need?” he tweeted.
His tweet came as state election officials announced that a large number of early, in person votes would soon be reported in Dekalb County, which includes part of Atlanta, hours after polls had closed. Those votes were expected to break heavily for the Democratic candidates, and did so, according to the county results reported after 11 p.m. ET.
Trump has repeatedly ignored the facts when it comes to regular election process, falsely claiming that he was denied a second term in part because of surprise spikes in votes for President-elect Joe Biden, and officials in multiple states from both political parties have sought to counter this misinformation. Election results are always reported in batches, and large cities can sometimes take longer to count and report.
Warnock defeats Loeffler in Georgia, keeping alive Democrats' hopes of taking Senate, NBC News projects
ATLANTA — Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler Tuesday, NBC News projects, in one of two critical runoff elections in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate and potentially the fate of Joe Biden’s presidency.
“Tonight we proved that with hope, hard works and the people by our side, anything is possible," Warnock told supporters in a video livestream.
Democrats need to win both contests to flip the Senate, but the other race, between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican David Perdue, remains too close to call, according to NBC News, with 98 percent of the expected vote counted.
If Perdue wins, Republicans will maintain control of the chamber and be able to block President-elect Biden’s Cabinet appointments, judicial picks and legislative agenda — colossal stakes that Biden said Monday would “chart the course not just for the next four years, but for the next generation."