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.
Trump's online base sours on Pence
As some supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol, members of the president’s largest internet communities immediately turned on Vice President Mike Pence, as it became clear he would not overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Supporters in “watch party” threads on some extremist websites pushed elaborate, QAnon-style conspiracy theories about Pence, claiming that he was part of an elaborate plot by Satanists to take over the world. Others simply expressed feelings of betrayal, and encouraged others to storm the Capitol.
Pro-Trump online forums had planned online for days to storm the Capitol if the election was not overturned in favor of Donald Trump.
After escalating attacks, Trump urges 'peaceful' protest
Minutes after posting an escalating attack on Vice President Mike Pence, Trump sent a second missive urging peaceful protest.
The tweet does not acknowledge that Trump has incited the protest by advancing baseless conspiracy theories about the results of the election.
Pro-Trump protesters breach Capitol, Pence whisked away
The House and Senate suddenly recessed Wednesday afternoon around 2:15 p.m. ET as pro-Trump protests escalated.
Vice President Mike Pence was ushered quickly out of the Senate chamber as it recessed and the debate between senators had to stop mid-speech. A member of the Senate told NBC News that Pence and Sen. Charles Grassley, the president pro-tempore, have been taken to a secure location.
This came as pro-Trump demonstrators breached the barricades and crowded on the Capitol steps, which is normally only accessible to lawmakers. People jumped the barricades surrounding the Capitol and police began running down hallways inside, telling people to get away from the windows.
A police officer on the third floor began shouting that protesters had gotten inside the building and that people should take shelter.
All visitors and staff must go through metal detectors every time they enter any part of the Capitol complex, including nearby House and Senate office buildings. While the entrances that the protesters were crowding near have metal detectors inside, it's easier to circumvent them as it's normally only entrances for lawmakers.
Senators were locked inside their chamber on the second floor of the Capitol building and protesters wearing Trump "Make America Great Again" hats and carrying flags were seen gathering outside the chamber doors. Senate chaplain Barry Black ran down the hallway, away from the Senate chambers, to his office.
"Immediately seek shelter in the closest office," an announcement over a loudspeaker said across the Capitol, which told people to lock doors as well, amid the security threat. “Remain quiet and await further directions.”
Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., told MSNBC that he's "never experienced anything like this."
Trump continues his attacks as protesters storm the Capitol
President Donald Trump continued to escalate his attacks and allegations of voter fraud, even as protesters have breached the locked-down Capitol amid security concerns.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump says.
Trump's claims are false. Vice President Mike Pence legally has no power in this process.
Pence was rushed from the Senate chamber earlier today amid growing security concerns.
Democratic lawmaker evacuates office as protesters storm Capitol grounds
Cruz proposes Civil War-era solution, Klobuchar burns him for it
Sen. Ted Cruz in a rambling address intended for the purpose of objecting to Arizona’s electoral votes, proposed an “emergency audit” that he said would be modeled after one created after a contentious election in the years after the Civil War.
Citing the aftermath of the contentious 1876 election between Republican Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden, Cruz called for Congress to “appoint an electoral commission to examine claims of electoral fraud,” specifying that he’d prefer that such a commission “conduct a 10-day emergency audit, consider the evidence and resolve the claims.”
In 1876, after a contentious election full of accusations of improprieties, Democrats, in a deal known as the Compromise of 1877, conceded the race to Hayes in exchange for the end of Reconstruction — a notorious pact that included the withdrawal of federal troops from former Confederate states who'd been sent there to protect the rights of newly emancipated Black people.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaking next, exposed Cruz’s hypocrisy, pointing out that the Texas Republican had not sought such audits in the races of the many Republican candidates who won House seats and who were sworn into Congress last week — even though whatever objections Cruz raised in the presidential election should have theoretically applied to other federal races as well.
"I did not see Senator Cruz over at the swearing in at the House of Representatives last Sunday asking for an audit,” she said. “He did not stop their swearing in because there was no fraud.”
McConnell’s calls for 'shared commitment to the truth' after not acknowledging Biden's win for weeks
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell gave a powerful speech on the floor demanding that members return to “a shared commitment to the truth” that keeps American democracy in working order.
"Self-government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth and a shared respect to the ground-rules of our system. We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes, with two different sets of facts and separate realities,” he said.
It’s a remarkable statement, but it doesn’t come in a vacuum and ignores how McConnell has operated as a legislative leader while working with the nation's most mendacious president in U.S. history.
In fact, McConnell has often kept mum while the president made repeated and sweeping false claims. Just this fall, Trump spent six weeks claiming victory in the 2020 election before McConnell congratulated Joe Biden on his presidential victory on Dec. 15.
In strongest words yet, McConnell rejects effort by Trump, GOP to overturn the election
In his strongest words yet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him and made clear he will not approve the objections raised by his GOP colleagues over the counting of electoral votes from key battleground states.
"Our Democracy would enter a death spiral" if election were overturned, McConnell said on the Senate floor.
"Mr. Trump claims the election was stolen," he said. "The assertions ranged from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories. I supported the president's right to use the legal system. Dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms all across our country. But over and over, the court rejected these claims, including all-star judges" nominated by Trump himself.
McConnell spoke on the floor as the chamber began two hours of debate on a motion to object to the certification of Arizona's electoral votes, which were awarded to Biden in November. The majority leader used his remarks to reprimand members of his own party who are challenging the official results of the election.
"We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids. Voters, courts and the states have all spoken. If we overrule them, It would damage our republic forever. This election actually was not unusually close," McConnell said.
"It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this extraordinarily thin basis," he said. "And I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing. I will vote to respect the people's decision and defend our system of government as we know it."
'We will never concede': Protesters march to Capitol as Congress meets to count electoral votes
Hundreds of protesters who massed in the nation's capital to support President Donald Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud descended on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon as Congress convened to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the November election.
The protesters marched en masse to the Capitol after Trump, speaking to a large crowd in front of the White House, vowed that he would never concede to Biden.
"We will never give up, we will never concede. You don't concede when there's theft involved," Trump said to a crowd of supporters, some of whom chanted "USA!" or waved anti-Biden banners.. He later falsely claimed Biden would be an "illegitimate" president.
Trump's groundless claims of voter fraud have been widely debunked, and his legal team's efforts to challenge the election results in court have been rejected by a succession of judges. Trump has claimed Wednesday's joint session of Congress represents a chance to overturn the election, even though state electors have already certified the results and the event inside the Capitol is ceremonial.
Obama congratulates Warnock: Democrats 'should feel good today'
Former President Barack Obama congratulated Democrat Raphael Warnock Wednesday for his election victory in a statement posted to his Twitter.
“Georgia’s first Black senator will make the chamber more reflective of our country as a whole and open the door for a Congress that can forgo gridlock for gridlock’s sake to focus instead on the many crises facing our nation — pandemic relief for struggling families, voting rights, protecting our planet, and more,” Obama said.
“Democrats in Georgia and across the country should feel good today,” he added.