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Highlights and analysis: Trump commits to 'orderly transition' after mob storms Capitol

Lawmakers were evacuated during the counting of Electoral College votes after supporters descended on the Capitol at Trump's urging.
Image: District of Columbia National Guard stand outside the Capitol, Wednesday night, Jan. 6, 2021, after a day of rioting protesters.
District of Columbia National Guard stand outside the Capitol on Wednesday night.John Minchillo / AP

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.


589d ago / 12:59 AM UTC
589d ago / 12:55 AM UTC

Melania Trump's top aide, Stephanie Grisham, resigns

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Melania Trump's chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, a former White House press secretary, submitted her resignation letter Wednesday afternoon, effective immediately.

"It has been an honor to serve the country in the White House. I am very proud to have been a part of Mrs. Trump's mission to help children everywhere and proud of the many accomplishments of this Administration," Grisham said in a statement to NBC News.

Grisham, who has also served as White House communications director, is one of President Donald Trump's longest-serving aides, having worked on his 2016 campaign. Her boss, the first lady, is one of the few people close to the president who has yet to comment publicly on the violent protests in the nation's capital. 

589d ago / 12:50 AM UTC
589d ago / 12:45 AM UTC

CEOs and business leaders condemn 'appalling events' at Capitol, push for unity

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Executives and CEOs from some of America's biggest companies strongly condemned the violence in Washington on Wednesday.

"The scenes from Washington, D.C., today are shocking and scary for all of us," Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, wrote in a note to employees. "Holding free and safe elections and resolving our differences peacefully are foundational to the functioning of democracy. The lawlessness and violence occurring on Capitol Hill today is the antithesis of democracy and we strongly condemn it."

Wall Street was among the first to speak out against the “insurrection,” with Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, one of President Donald Trump’s most prominent allies, calling the chaos “an affront to the democratic values we hold dear as Americans.”

The Business Roundtable, which represents CEOs of companies like Amazon, Walmart and Home Depot, said "the country deserves better," and called on Trump "and all relevant officials to put an end to the chaos and to facilitate the peaceful transition of power."

Read the full story here.

589d ago / 12:39 AM UTC
589d ago / 12:28 AM UTC

Rand Paul: No more objections expected to Electoral College count

No more objections are expected as lawmakers expect to continue counting the Electoral College votes Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told reporters. 

Both chambers of Congress were debating a Republican objection to Arizona's results when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, forcing members of the House and the Senate to flee for safety. 

Legislators will vote to close debate after they resume, but Paul said he does not expect any more objections to the process. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, along with other Republican lawmakers, had previously threatened to object to election results in some states, citing baseless claims of fraud.

589d ago / 12:23 AM UTC

Twitter locks Trump's account for 12 hours

Twitter said Wednesday it was locking President Donald Trump's account for at least 12 hours. 

Twitter said in a statement that the move was in response to the "unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C.," and Trump's "repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy."

"This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets," Twitter said, referring to three Trump tweets that broke the company's rules. "If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked." 

The suspension is a rebuke, but it falls short of renewed calls Wednesday by many Twitter users who asked the service to ban Trump. Twitter has declined to ban Trump over the years because of his status as a head of state. 

589d ago / 12:08 AM UTC

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice condemns riots at Capitol

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a Republican, denounced attacks on the Capitol on Wednesday evening, calling them "a flagrant violation of the rule of law and an assault to the democratic processes that were underway."

"Those who participated should be prosecuted to the fullest extent," she said in a tweeted statement.

589d ago / 11:59 PM UTC

Why aren't police arresting more Capitol protesters?

Protesters broke into the Capitol building, damaged property and violated a number of federal laws. But why are the police not making more arrests? NBC News' Pete Williams reports.

According the Washington mayor's office, 15 people had been arrested and eight others had been transported by emergency services as of 6 p.m. ET.

589d ago / 11:41 PM UTC

Pompeo calls storming of Capitol by Trump supporters 'unacceptable'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, several hours after Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol, calling it "unacceptable" and "intolerable."

"Lawlessness and rioting — here or around the world — is always unacceptable. I have travelled to many countries and always support the right of every human being to protest peacefully for their beliefs and their causes," Pompeo tweeted.

"But violence, putting at risk the safety of others including those tasked with providing security for all of us, is intolerable both at home and abroad. Let us swiftly bring justice to the criminals who engaged in this rioting," he added.

589d ago / 11:41 PM UTC

Pelosi says Electoral College vote count will continue tonight

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers will resume counting the Electoral College vote later Wednesday after armed protesters stormed the Capitol building, disrupting the proceedings and forcing lawmakers to flee to secure locations. 

"To that end, in consultation with Leader Hoyer and Whip Clyburn and after calls to the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the Vice President, we have decided we should proceed tonight at the Capitol once it is cleared for use," Pelosi wrote in a letter to House members. 

The lawmakers will return for a joint session, so members of both the House and Senate will join. It's unclear what time lawmakers will reconvene.

"We always knew this responsibility would take us into the night," Pelosi continued. "The night may still be long but we are hopeful for a shorter agenda, but our purpose will be accomplished."

589d ago / 11:37 PM UTC

Former Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman sees danger, disparity and need for arrests in day's events

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., was in the House gallery when protesters began to enter the building. 

Bass, who was chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2019 and 2020, had anticipated that Wednesday would be difficult, but nothing like this. Many of Washington's streets were closed. And Bass, like many other Black people in Washington she knows, had resolved to avoid walking anywhere. To Bass, a crowd insisting that President Donald Trump remain in office and that the results of the election should not be certified represented a possible threat to her safety.

"Myself, as an African American, I know who this crowd is. We as a group know who this crowd is," Bass said of the people who breached the Capitol, broke windows, removed fixtures and snapped photos of themselves in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, forcing members of Congress to evacuate. "Some of them have Trump flags. They could have Klan flags."

However, when the Capitol building was breached, Bass began to wonder how. 

"I mean, can you imagine if this was Black Lives Matter? Can you for one moment imagine what would happen?" Bass said, echoing a set of ideas swirling on social media. "This entire episode, it needs to be investigated," she added. "You can't get into this building with a backpack, much less a flagpole. I think we need to know if they were helped or somehow allowed in."

Bass said she believes most of the rioters have been caught on video and should be prosecuted. When asked about Trump's part in the day's events, Bass said that the last time she checked, "inciting a riot" is a crime. 

"I know some of my colleagues are calling for the 25th Amendment or this, that or the other," Bass said. "I don't know. I mean, for the 25th Amendment, you have to have the Cabinet to go along with it. And the Cabinet, this Cabinet, are cult followers, too. ... This president has really embarrassed us in front of the entire world. I just count the days and the hours until we can get to Jan. 20."

589d ago / 11:29 PM UTC

Bush appalled at 'reckless behavior' of some political leaders

Former President George W. Bush condemned the "mayhem" at the Capitol in a searing statement Wednesday, criticizing the actions of both those who mobbed the federal building and political leaders. 

Those who attacked the Capitol were "inflamed by falsehoods," Bush said. He implored Trump's supporters upset with the election results to rise above politics and allow elected officials to do their jobs in a preservation of American democracy.

"This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic," Bush said. "I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement." 

589d ago / 11:14 PM UTC

Trump celebrates Capitol rioting: 'Go home with love'

President Donald Trump celebrated the mob that stormed and rioted inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a tweet that claimed that the events were justified.

"These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long," Trump said in a tweet.

This is false; there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. The violent chaos at the Capitol has left one woman dead, and the FBI confirmed that two explosive devices were detonated by law enforcement officials.

Trump characterized the event as something celebratory: "Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!" he wrote.

589d ago / 11:11 PM UTC

Texas Republican Party removes officer who cheered on mob

The Texas Republican Party said Wednesday it had removed one of its party officers, Walter West, who had posted on social media celebrating a mob’s takeover of the U.S. Capitol. 

“Whereas we vigorously support the First Amendment right to freely assemble, we condemn violence and pray for all gathering in our nation’s capital and those at the Capitol Building,” the party said in an unsigned statement. “The Texas GOP has always been on the side of law and order and will remain so.” 

West had been the state party’s sergeant at arms, one of 12 officer positions with the party. His primary duty had been to maintain order during executive committee meetings. 

In posts on Facebook, West endorsed Wednesday’s takeover in Washington, D.C., by supporters of President Donald Trump, writing, “Deal with them taking back OUR HOUSE!” He did not respond to an email requesting comment. 

589d ago / 11:02 PM UTC

Fraternal Order of Police calls on Trump to 'forcefully urge' supporters to disperse

The National Fraternal Order of Police is calling on President Donald Trump to tell his supporters to disperse after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

"The images coming in from the United State Capitol Building today are heartbreaking to every American. Lawlessness is not how Americans affect change in our great country," the police union's president, Patrick Yoes, said in a statement.

"We also call on President Trump to forcefully urge these demonstrators to stop their unlawful activity, to stand down, and to disperse," he said.

Trump did tell the demonstrators "you have to go home now" in a video message, but he also repeated his baseless and false claims that the election was stolen.

589d ago / 10:52 PM UTC

Woman shot inside Capitol has died

A woman who was shot inside the Capitol has died, several law enforcement officials confirmed to NBC News ob Wednesday.

Police earlier had confirmed that one person was shot inside the U.S. Capitol building, but officials did not know details about the circumstances. Several other people, including a police officer, were injured and taken to a hospital after a mob overtook the Capitol. 

Authorities have not identified the woman who died. A woman covered in blood was seen on video being treated for an unknown injury as paramedics moved her on a stretcher out of the building. 

589d ago / 10:49 PM UTC

Photo: Lawmakers taking cover as mob storms Capitol

Electoral College Vote
Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., comforts Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., while taking cover as rioters disrupt the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
589d ago / 10:42 PM UTC
589d ago / 10:35 PM UTC

Sen. Klobuchar to senators at undisclosed secure location: This is the safest place

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., ranking member of the Rules and Administration Committee, told senators waiting at an undisclosed secure location that police are still clearing the U.S. Capitol and that where they are being held is the safest place to be, according to a source familiar with the discussions in the room.

589d ago / 10:32 PM UTC

Former Trump White House spokeswoman says 'the Election was NOT stolen. We lost'

Former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah tweeted a message to Trump supporters Wednesday after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, saying, "I need you to hear me: the Election was NOT stolen. We lost."

Farah, who resigned in December, also tweeted, "There were cases of fraud that should be investigated. But the legitimate margins of victory for Biden are far too wide to change the outcome. You need to know that."

The chaos at the Capitol occurred after a pro-Trump rally was held while Congress convened to officially count the Electoral College vote that President-elect Joe Biden won.

589d ago / 10:28 PM UTC

McConnell spokesman: No clue when Electoral College vote will resume

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Republicans do not know what the plan is to resume the Electoral College vote count.

Lawmakers were evacuated during the counting of the votes Wednesday after a mob of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol.

589d ago / 10:26 PM UTC

GOP-allied business group joins calls for Pence to consider invoking 25th Amendment

The head of the National Association of Manufacturers has called on Vice President Mike Pence to consider removing President Donald Trump from office for inciting the rioting seen inside the Capitol on Wednesday.

Jay Timmons, the association's president and CEO, blasted the "armed violent protestors who support the baseless claim by outgoing president Trump that he somehow won an election that he overwhelmingly lost."

Timmons is a former high-level Republican congressional aide who led the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2004.

"Throughout this whole disgusting episode, Trump has been cheered on by members of his own party, adding fuel to the distrust that has enflamed violent anger. This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such," Timmons said in a statement released by the association

"The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy. Anyone indulging conspiracy theories to raise campaign dollars is complicit. Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy."

Under the 25th Amendment, the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can declare that the president is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his officers," which would lead to the vice president's replacing him. This scenario is unlikely.

The association represents the manufacturing sector's interests in Washington, billing itself as the largest manufacturing association. Some of the group's leaders also have close ties to the GOP, having previously worked for Republican members or causes.

589d ago / 10:17 PM UTC
589d ago / 10:16 PM UTC

Sen. Jeff Merkley says staffers saved Electoral College ballots from being 'burned by the mob'

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., tweeted Wednesday evening that Electoral College ballots were rescued from the Senate floor before protesters were able to get to them. 

"If our capable floor staff hadn’t grabbed them, they would have been burned by the mob,"  he tweeted. 

589d ago / 10:09 PM UTC

Former election security chief Krebs: Trump 'fanned flames' of violence

Christopher Krebs, who led the federal government’s election security efforts before President Donald Trump fired him in November, said Trump should have known his words would one day spark a mob. 

“We called out #disinfo repeatedly before & after the election. Yet the President & his campaign/lawyers/supporters fanned the flames for their own selfish reasons culminating with today's objections followed by his video message,” Krebs said on Twitter Wednesday, after a mob breached the Capitol. 

“WHAT DID THEY THINK WOULD HAPPEN? They own this,” he said. 

Krebs is credited with helping to secure the 2020 presidential election against foreign interference attempts. Trump fired him after Krebs fact-checked post-election claims about alleged fraud and hacking.

589d ago / 10:08 PM UTC

House Dems to urge Pence to use 25th Amendment against Trump

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Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island are drafting a letter to Vice President Mike Pence urging him to initiate 25th Amendment proceedings against President Donald Trump after Wednesday's riot at the Capitol. 

Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., also tweeted that he supported such an effort.

Their efforts will almost certainly go nowhere.

589d ago / 10:00 PM UTC

Demonstrators who stormed U.S. Capitol face potential federal charges

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Demonstrators who stormed the U.S. Capitol amid pro-Trump protests could face potential legal exposure to federal crimes. Here is an explainer of possible charges.

Trespassing: A federal petty misdemeanor that applies to persons who enter or remain in any building they are not licensed to enter.

Entering a restricted government building: This misdemeanor applies to anyone who knowingly enters a restricted government building or engages in disorderly conduct near a restricted government building that impedes government business.

Entering a restricted government building with a weapon or causing injury: This is a felony that applies to persons who violate the above misdemeanor and do so either with a firearm or deadly weapon or with further actions that result in serious bodily injury.

Physical damage to government property: a misdemeanor if someone damages government property up to $1,000 and a felony for over $1,000.

Misdemeanors carry fines and up to a year in prison. The felony counts listed carry maximum prison terms of 10 years.

589d ago / 9:55 PM UTC

Noose appears near Capitol; protesters seen carrying Confederate flags

A noose was erected on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon, attached to a wooden beam.

Image: Noose at U.S. Capitol
Supporters of President Donald Trump gather on the West side of the Capitol on Wednesday.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP - Getty Images

It was seen as hundreds of pro-Trump demonstrators were crowding around the Capitol amid chaos that involved many of them breaching barricades and going inside the building. 

Many were seen carrying Trump campaign flags inside, and some were also carrying Confederate flags. 

589d ago / 9:51 PM UTC

Reps. Omar, Pressley call for Trump's impeachment

Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley called for President Donald Trump’s impeachment Wednesday.

“We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath,” Omar, of Minnesota, wrote on Twitter.

Pressley, of Massachusetts, said on Twitter that the president should be “immediately be impeached,” calling his behavior “dangerous and unacceptable.”

589d ago / 9:50 PM UTC
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589d ago / 9:50 PM UTC

Photos show protesters storming U.S. Capitol, Pelosi's office

Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, wandering around the Senate floor and other areas.

One protester entered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and kicked his feet up at a desk.

See the full gallery of photos here.

589d ago / 9:37 PM UTC

Photo: Trump supporter carries Confederate flag in Capitol

Image: Trump supporters breach the US Capitol
A Trump supporter carries a Confederate battle flag on the second floor of the Capitol near the entrance to the Senate on Jan. 6, 2021.Mike Theiler / Reuters
589d ago / 9:37 PM UTC

Twitter limits engagement on Trump tweets; YouTube, Facebook remove video

Twitter took the extraordinary step Wednesday of prohibiting one of President Donald Trump's tweets from being retweeted or replied to after he posted a video pushing conspiracy theories about election fraud while some of his supporters took over the U.S. Capitol building.

The tweet included a video in which Trump reiterated evidence-free claims that the election was "stolen" but also called for his supporters to "go home now."

Twitter turned off retweets and replies to the tweet.

"In regard to the ongoing situation in Washington, D.C., we are working proactively to protect the health of the public conversation occurring on the service and will take action on any content that violates the Twitter Rules," Twitter's Safety team said in a statement.

"Threats of and calls to violence are against the Twitter Rules, and we are enforcing our policies accordingly," the safety team said. "In addition, we have been significantly restricting engagement with Tweets labeled under our Civic Integrity Policy due to the risk of violence. This means these labeled Tweets will not be able to be replied to, Retweeted, or liked." 

The same video was removed from YouTube early Wednesday night. The company said in a statement that the video violated "policies regarding content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome." Facebook also took it down.

The video was tweeted at 4:17 p.m., about three hours after Trump told his supporters to march on the Capitol. The Capitol building was eventually evacuated after protesters stormed the building, some taking pictures from the dais and Senate offices.

589d ago / 9:36 PM UTC

Rep. Cori Bush to introduce resolution to expel GOP House members who 'incited' violence

Freshman Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri said Wednesday that she will introduce a resolution to expel Republican members of Congress who "incited this domestic terror attack through their attempts to overturn the election," saying they "must face consequences."

"They have broken their sacred Oath of Office," Bush tweeted. "I will be introducing a resolution calling for their expulsion."

Bush, a progressive, ousted long-term incumbent Lacy Clay, who represented Missouri's 1st Congressional District for 10 terms, in the Democratic primary.

589d ago / 9:35 PM UTC

Trump tells mob at Capitol 'we love you' but 'go home'

President Donald Trump issued a short video to his Twitter account Wednesday urging his supporters to "go home" after a mob bypassed police to enter the Capitol building. 

Trump continued to falsely assert that he won the presidential election by a "landslide" but told his supporters that they must leave. He also reiterated his baseless allegation that the election was "stolen." 

He told his supporters that they are "very special" and that he loved them. 

"It was a landslide election, everyone knows it ... but you have to go home now," Trump said. "We have to have peace, we have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don't want anyone hurt." 

Trump spoke to a large crowd of his supporters in front of the White House earlier Wednesday before the beginning of a joint session of Congress to count Electoral College votes, where he encouraged his followers to go to the Capitol. Trump also suggested that he would go himself. 

Twitter added a flag to Trump's tweet saying that it cannot be retweeted, liked or replied to "due to a risk of violence."

The video was posted just moments after President-elect Joe Biden urged Trump to "step up" and called the chaos unfolding at the Capitol an "insurrection." 

589d ago / 9:34 PM UTC

Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger evacuated from state Capitol building

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was escorted out of the state Capitol building Wednesday in Atlanta, his office confirmed. About 150 protesters gathered outside the building, which remained largely empty.

The Legislature is not in session, and much of legislators' work is being done from home because of the pandemic.

Raffensperger spoke with President Donald Trump on Saturday, during which Trump pressed him to "find 11,780 votes" to overturn the results of the presidential election in the state. Raffensperger said Monday that he never thought it appropriate to speak to Trump about the results. 

589d ago / 9:27 PM UTC

U.K.'s Boris Johnson calls scenes in Washington 'disgraceful'

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the images of hundreds of pro-Trump protesters swarming the Capitol "disgraceful."

"The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power," Johnson, an ally of President Donald Trump, wrote Wednesday on Twitter

The events in Washington caused shock and surprise across the world, where many are used to American lectures about orderly transitions of power, not frenzied scenes of chaos in the heart of the American establishment.  

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called for the outcome of the election to be respected after the Capitol descended into chaos.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak took to social media to call the events a "shaky coup attempt" by a "crowd incited by a defeated president who lost his temper."  

"But the lesson is clear: When those who are in charge are allowed to go wild and those who had to act are paralyzed by fear, even the impossible can happen," he added.

  

589d ago / 9:19 PM UTC

'It's not protest. It's insurrection': Biden condemns violent storming of Capitol

President-elect Joe Biden forcefully condemned the pro-Trump mob inciting violence and causing chaos Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

"The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad it is," Biden said, before calling on President Donald Trump to give a televised address and demand "an end to this siege" by his supporters.

"It's not protest. It's insurrection," Biden said.

Biden, speaking in Delaware on Wednesday afternoon, described the events at the Capitol that disrupted the vote count as "chaos" that "borders on sedition." 

"I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward," Biden said, adding that "the words of a president matter." 

589d ago / 9:13 PM UTC

Lawmakers sheltering in place cheer news that National Guard troops are on the way

Members of both parties who were locked down in a secure location at the Capitol cheered when House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming announced that the National Guard was on its way, a House member in the room said. 

"We will return to the floor and do our job," the member said. 

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that he is sending members of the Virginia National Guard, along with 200 Virginia state troopers, to the Capitol. 

GOP Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also announced that he was sending troopers to assist D.C. and Capitol police.

589d ago / 9:06 PM UTC

Improvised explosive device found at Capitol

WASHINGTON — At least one improvised explosive device was found on the Capitol grounds, several law enforcement officials told NBC News. 

The explosive device was found outside a building, the officials said.

“Along with our law enforcement partners, FBI Washington Field Office responded to reports of suspicious devices. The investigation is ongoing," a spokesperson for the field office said, 

589d ago / 9:06 PM UTC

Jon Ossoff defeats David Perdue in Georgia, handing control of the Senate to Democrats, NBC News projects

Jon Ossoff defeated Republican David Perdue and Raphael Warnock won over GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler in Georgia, NBC News projects.

The twin wins for Democrats give the party control of the Senate, which will stand at 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, but incoming Vice President Kamala Harris will be able to cast the tie-breaking vote. The Georgia election results are a big boost for President-elect Joe Biden, who would have faced stiff opposition from Republicans had they retained the Senate. 

Read the story.

589d ago / 9:04 PM UTC

Capitol Police request backup; Secret Service, FBI, Maryland National Guard responding

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U.S. Secret Service, FBI and the Maryland National Guard will support Capitol police as officers attempt to detain and disperse President Donald Trump's supporters as they roam the halls of Congress. 

Both uniformed and specials agent division of Secret Service are responding, a senior law enforcement source confirmed to NBC News. The official called the situation at the legislative office "extremely concerning." 

The FBI also confirmed that it will assist U.S. Capitol Police "in protection of federal property and public safety." Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he ordered the state's National Guardsmen to set up a rapid response force to support police officers in the city. 

589d ago / 9:01 PM UTC

Photo shows GOP Sen. Hawley, who led effort to contest vote, greeting protesters

589d ago / 8:57 PM UTC

Federal officials with ATF uniforms are clearing the Capitol

Federal law enforcement officers are moving through the U.S. Capitol clearing out protesters.

Reporters barricaded in a workspace in the Capitol greeted the officers — who had uniforms from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — as a sign that the building may soon be safe. 

A security system inside the Capitol had alerted everyone to shelter in space. Police have continued to say that those inside are safest waiting where they are. 

"Thank you for what your doing," the reporters who remained locked inside said.

589d ago / 8:56 PM UTC

Pelosi, Schumer call on Trump to demand that protesters leave the Capitol

In a joint statement directed at Trump, Pelosi and Schumer said just before 4 p.m. ET, “We are calling on President Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately.”

 

589d ago / 8:53 PM UTC

GOP lawmakers call on Trump to take action, call off the violence at the Capitol

Multiple Republicans are calling on Trump to step in and call for an end to the violence that pro-Trump protesters engaged in at the Capitol on Wednesday. 

"Mr. President @realDonaldTrump the men & women of law enforcement are under assault. It is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down," tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., tweeted, "We are witnessing absolute banana republic crap in the United States Capitol right now. @realdonaldtrump, you need to call this off."

"I am appalled at what is occurring in the US Capitol right now. President Trump needs to call for an end to this violence and permit Congress to facilitate a peaceful transition of power," tweeted Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio.

A number of other Republicans condemned the violence on Twitter, but did not call on the president to take action. Democrats, meanwhile, accused Trump of inciting it.

The tweets came after Trump called on protesters at a rally in downtown D.C. to march to the Capitol. Well after the violence and chaos erupted at the Capitol, Trump tweeted, "I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!"

589d ago / 8:52 PM UTC

'It was predictable': Extremism experts point to signs well ahead of riots

As pro-Trump protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol, online extremism researchers expressed frustration and disappointment with the inevitability of the movements they’ve tracked online coming to fruition in real life. 

“It would only be shocking if they hadn’t been saying for years they were going to do this,” said Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University who tracks white nationalists and other extremist groups online. “And the role of the online platforms in fomenting this entire debacle can not be overstated. They consistently ignored advice from experts to remove the loudest voices pushing the most deranged conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric. They chose time and time again to look the other way."

Similar breaches by Trump supporters occurred in several different states recently including Oregon and Michigan, noted Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

“Tactics are contagious and spread quickly,” Donovan said. “It was predictable.”

Donovan said the strong QAnon presence in the riots was also to be expected.

“For years, they believed they were the digital soldiers led by General Flynn,” Donovan said. “For weeks, Flynn, Powell, and Wood were priming people for action. When all legal options were exhausted, it became proof of their beliefs.”

589d ago / 8:45 PM UTC

Aide says White House staffers 'disgusted and disappointed' by Trump's behavior

Most White House aides didn’t go into work on Wednesday because of road closures and protests. One staffer, who has been at the White House for all four years and worked on the re-election, said they are completely “disgusted and disappointed” by President Trump’s behavior in these final days.

“Never did anyone think it would turn out like this,” said the White House aide. “The blame for this lies squarely with the President. And whatever support he has among members has vanished. As wild as it sounds, he could be impeached in the final days.”

The aide believes Trump has lost support for the objection of the vote certification in the House because of Wednesday's unrest.

"I don’t know for a fact, no one does, because many are sheltering in place, but I would certainly anticipate that," the staffer said.

589d ago / 8:40 PM UTC

Trump authorizes National Guard to Capitol protests

589d ago / 8:37 PM UTC

Virginia National Guard, state troopers are heading to the Capitol

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced this afternoon that the state National Guard and 200 state troopers are heading to the Capitol to help police the protests and rioting happening there.

The sun will set shortly in Washington, and the city has ordered a 6 p.m. curfew. 

589d ago / 8:37 PM UTC

1 person shot inside Capitol, law enforcement officials confirm

One person was shot and several others were injured amid the frenzy at the Capitol, law enforcement officials confirmed to NBC News Wednesday. 

Police did not know details regarding the circumstances of the shooting, who fired the shot, or the nature of the person’s injuries. That person is in critical condition, according to D.C. Fire and EMS. 

A woman was seen on video being treated for an unknown injury as paramedics moved her on a stretcher out of the Capitol Wednesday. The building remains on lockdown.

Five people have been transported transported to the hospital, including one officer, according to the city's emergency medical services. 

589d ago / 8:35 PM UTC

McCarthy says he heard police say 'shots fired' inside Capitol

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said on Fox News on Wednesday that overheard police saying there were shots fired inside Capitol.

"People are being hurt. People are being, people are being hurt, there's been shots, this is unacceptable," McCarthy said.

Asked whether he could confirm "that shots have been fired inside the capitol or outside," McCarthy said he was with Capitol Police officers and that he "heard on the radio, 'shots fired.'"

McCarthy came moments after a bleeding woman was rushed from the Capitol on a stretcher with medical personnel tending to her. It's unclear how the woman was injured.

589d ago / 8:32 PM UTC

Photo: Protester sits at Capitol desk

Image: US-POLITICS-ELECTION-TRUMP
A supporter of President Donald Trump sits at a desk after invading the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
589d ago / 8:26 PM UTC

Georgia election official: 'This is an insurrection'

Gabriel Sterling, an election official in Georgia who has spent weeks condemning the false attacks on the validity of the U.S. election as dangerous and inflammatory, called the chaotic mob of pro-Trump protesters who breached the U.S. Capitol an "insurrection."

He laid the blame squarely on the president's shoulders: "I said several weeks ago that the words and actions of the President were going to get someone shot, hurt, or killed. Shots were just fired in the U.S. Capitol. Let that link in for a moment."

One person was shot this afternoon inside the U.S. Capitol building by a member of law enforcement, several law enforcement officials said. No other details are known, including what law enforcement officer fired the shot, or the circumstances of the shooting, or the nature of the person's injuries.

589d ago / 8:25 PM UTC

Pelosi, VP-elect Harris both safe, officials say

and

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is "safe," a spokesperson for her told NBC News. The aide would not comment on her whereabouts. 

She had previously been inside the House chamber. 

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who was on the Capitol grounds today, is also “safe,” a transition official told NBC News. But they will not comment further on her current location. 

589d ago / 8:09 PM UTC

589d ago / 8:09 PM UTC

Pelosi, Washington Mayor call for National Guard help

589d ago / 8:08 PM UTC

Protesters are on the Senate floor

589d ago / 8:08 PM UTC

Photos: Protesters breach the Capitol

Image:
Capitol Police try to hold back protesters outside the east doors to the House side of the Capitol on Jan 6, 2021.Andrew Harnik / AP
Image: US-POLITICS-ELECTION-TRUMP
Supporters of President Donald Trump enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
Image: Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election
A protester holds a Trump flag inside the Capitol Building near the Senate Chamber on Jan. 6, 2021.Win McNamee / Getty Images
Image:
Protesters gesture to Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, near the Ohio Clock.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP
Image: Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election
Members of Congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber during a joint session on Jan. 6, 2021.Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Image: Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election
Law enforcement officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021 .Drew Angerer / Getty Images
589d ago / 8:05 PM UTC

Protesters breach the Senate chamber, House door barricaded

Image:
Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber on Jan. 6, 2021.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Pro-Trump supporters have entered the Senate chamber as others are in a standoff at the door of the House chamber. 

A protester who was able to get into the Senate chamber stood on the dais and yelled, "Trump won that election," according to a press pool reporter inside the room. Officers are also in an armed standoff with protesters at the House chamber door, which was barricaded. 

The gallery door in the House was broken, and members have been evacuated. Members that are up top in the gallery area above the floor with press were sheltering as the door was barricaded. 

589d ago / 7:57 PM UTC

D.C. Mayor Bowser imposes 6 p.m. curfew

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a curfew on the city as protesters stormed the Capitol building during the Electoral College certification Wednesday. 

The 12-hour curfew will begin at 6 p.m. and continue into Thursday morning after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the building as members of both congressional chambers debated the certification of Arizona's electoral votes.

"During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District," Bowser's press release said.

589d ago / 7:50 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 7:44 PM UTC
589d ago / 7:38 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 7:20 PM UTC

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."

589d ago / 7:15 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 7:10 PM UTC

Democratic lawmaker evacuates office as protesters storm Capitol grounds

589d ago / 7:09 PM UTC

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.”

589d ago / 7:00 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 6:59 PM UTC

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." 

589d ago / 6:51 PM UTC

'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.

Read the story.

589d ago / 6:47 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 6:43 PM UTC

Fact check: No evidence for claims Arizona's results were marred by fraud

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., joined by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, objected to Arizona's election results on Wednesday, kicking off up to two hours of debate in both chambers over a claim that those results were "not regularly given."

Gosar has alleged on Twitter that 200,000 votes were changed in the state, contributing to Biden's win. There is no evidence of this.

Arizona counties completed hand count audits of the vast majority of the ballots in the state. The audits found either a handful of discrepancies or no discrepancies. Several lawsuits in the state alleged fraud and were dismissed or withdrawn.

589d ago / 6:41 PM UTC

Photos: Trump supporters converge on Washington to protest election

See more photos from the protest in Washington.

589d ago / 6:39 PM UTC

Police evacuate area near Capitol as pro-Trump protesters storm barricades

The U.S. Capitol Police said they were evacuating areas near the Capitol as pro-Trump protesters attempted to storm barricades set up outside the perimeter of the complex and law enforcement were seen trying to push them back. 

The Library of Congress, located directly across the street from the main Capitol building, was evacuated and people were told to remain calm and move in a safe manner to the exits. 

Hundreds of protesters, some carrying large Trump flags, were seen on the East Front of the Capitol trying to move past security. 

Image: Supporters of President Donald Trump clash with police officers outside of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Supporters of President Donald Trump clash with police officers outside of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Leah Millis / Reuters
589d ago / 6:30 PM UTC

GOP registers first objection after joint session of Congress gets underway

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The joint session of Congress got underway at 1 p.m. ET as Pence and lawmakers read the number of electoral votes that were awarded to Biden and Trump from each state. 

Both members of the House and Senate began in the House chamber with Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at the top of the dais. 

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., along with 60 of his Republican colleagues, quickly objected to the electoral votes that were awarded to Biden by the state of Arizona. He was joined by at least Sen. Ted Cruz, who stood and was applauded, in signing the first objection to the Arizona electors.

The joint session then retired. There will now be up to two hours of debate in both the House and Senate, because both a House member and a senator submitted a written objection.

589d ago / 6:14 PM UTC

589d ago / 6:11 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 6:02 PM UTC

589d ago / 5:49 PM UTC

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. 

589d ago / 5:45 PM UTC

Trump supporters mass on the National Mall in protest of electoral count

Image: Supporters rally for President Donald Trump near the Washington Monument on Jan. 6, 2021.
Supporters rally for President Donald Trump near the Washington Monument on Jan. 6, 2021.Jacquelyn Martin / AP
589d ago / 5:28 PM UTC

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.

 

589d ago / 5:26 PM UTC

Photo: Proud Boys march at Capitol

Image: Members of the the far-right group Proud Boys march to the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington
Members of the Proud Boys march to the Capitol on Wednesday. A self-described "Western chauvinist" organization, the Proud Boys is considered a violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic hate group, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that tracks extremist groups.Leah Millis / Reuters
589d ago / 5:11 PM UTC

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."

589d ago / 4:57 PM UTC

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. 

589d ago / 4:46 PM UTC

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.

People attend a rally in support of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.
People attend a rally in support of President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.Allan Smith / NBC News
589d ago / 4:25 PM UTC

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."

589d ago / 4:22 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 4:11 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 3:58 PM UTC
589d ago / 3:51 PM UTC

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. 

589d ago / 3:47 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 3:46 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 3:44 PM UTC

Pelosi declares victory in both Ga. Senate races, pushes for Voting Rights Act

and

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.

 

 

589d ago / 3:35 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 3:27 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 2:46 PM UTC

Senator-elect Raphael Warnock celebrates projected win

 

589d ago / 2:34 PM UTC

Biden to deliver speech on small businesses affected by Covid

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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.

589d ago / 1:58 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 1:54 PM UTC

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!"

589d ago / 1:39 PM UTC

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. 

589d ago / 1:29 PM UTC

'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. 

589d ago / 1:24 PM UTC

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. 

589d ago / 12:41 PM UTC

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.

589d ago / 12:17 PM UTC
589d ago / 12:08 PM UTC

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.

Read the story.

589d ago / 12:00 PM UTC

DC Police make several arrests ahead of major pro-Trump election protest

Image: Trump Supporters Rally In Freedom Plaza In Washington, DC
Supporters of President Donald Trump gather in protest downtown on Wednesday on Jan. 5, 2021 in Washington, DC.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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.

More on the arrests here.

589d ago / 11:56 AM UTC

Trump to address D.C. rally where as many as 30,000 people are expected

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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. 

  

589d ago / 11:41 AM UTC

Fact check: No, Pence can't overturn the election results

Image: Vice President Mike Pence Campaigns In Georgia For Republican Senate Candidates
Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Rock Springs Church in Milner, Ga., on Jan. 4, 2021.Megan Varner / Getty Images

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.

Here's why.

589d ago / 11:27 AM UTC

Trump leans harder on Pence to flip election results, though he lacks that power

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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."

Read the story.

589d ago / 11:11 AM UTC

Congress is set to count the Trump-Biden Electoral College votes. Here's the lowdown.

Electoral College Ballots
Senate pages lead the procession of the Senate through the Capitol Rotunda into the House chamber with the Electoral College ballot boxes on Jan. 6, 2017.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

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.

Here's what to expect.

589d ago / 11:05 AM UTC

Trump allies hope Wednesday's drama will be his last stand — but no one knows what's next

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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."

Read the story.

589d ago / 11:00 AM UTC

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.

Read the story.

589d ago / 10:58 AM UTC

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."

Read the story.