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.
West Virginia legislator posts video of himself storming Capitol
Derrick Evans, a recently elected member of West Virginia's House of Delegates, posted a video of himself storming the U.S. Capitol with other pro-Trump extremists Wednesday.
In a since-deleted video captured by West Virginia Metro News' Brad McElhinny, Evans can be heard yelling: "We're in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!"
Evans has been condemned by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Republican House Speaker Roger Hanshaw called the rioters "unpatriotic [and] un-American," and Democratic Del. Shawn Fluharty tweeted that Evans was "unfit for office in West Virginia" and "fit to be prosecuted."
Evans, who ran for office as a conservative activist, posted an explanation to his Facebook page that he "was simply there as an independent member of the media" and that he "did not have any negative interactions with law enforcement nor did I participate in any destruction."
McConnell decries 'failed insurrection' while silent on Trump
Hours after it was attacked by rioters, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a hearty defense of Congress while failing to acknowledge that President Donald Trump and his own party had incited the riots by falsely claiming that the election was stolen.
The U.S. and Congress "have faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today," McConnell said. "We've never been deterred before and will be not deterred today. They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed. This failed insurrection only underscores how crucial this task is for our republic."
Earlier in the day, McConnell had implored Republicans not to overrule voters' will, arguing that it would "damage our republic forever" and trigger a "death spiral" for American democracy.
Obama calls on Republicans to 'choose reality' and America
Former President Barack Obama blamed President Donald Trump for a moment of "great shame" in American history and called on Republicans to make a choice to put America over false narratives about the election.
Obama joined former President George Bush in condemning the violence Wednesday at the Capitol when a mob of Trump supporters pushed past police to breach Congress. He firmly placed blame on Trump for his "baseless lie about the outcome of a lawful election" and a political party that failed to tell its followers the truth.
"Right now, Republican leaders have a choice made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy," Obama said in a statement. "They can continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires. Or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America."
Former Defense Sec. Esper: Capitol attack 'appalling and un-American'
Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who Trump fired in November, tweeted Wednesday that the assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters was "appalling and un-American."
"This is not how citizens of the world’s greatest and oldest democracy behave. The perpetrators who committed this illegal act were inspired by partisan misinformation and patently false claims about the election. This must end now for the good of the republic," Esper tweeted.
"As this transition plays out over the next two weeks, I am confident the U.S. military will stay out of politics, and remain true to its sworn oath to support and defend the Constitution, and the American people, as the most trusted and respected institution in the country," he added.
Celtics and Heat, disheartened by riots in D.C., tip off in Miami
The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat took the floor in South Florida on Wednesday night after players apparently considered boycotting.
Players from both teams said they were disheartened by the decision not to press charges against the police officer who shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha and by the violence at the U.S. Capitol hours earlier.
"We have decided to play tonight's game to try to bring joy into people's lives," according to a statement released by the Celtics. "But we must not forget the injustices in our society, and we will continue to use our voices and our platform to highlight these issues."
Mattis blames Trump for 'effort to subjugate American democracy'
Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who served in the Trump administration, blamed President Donald Trump for the riot at the Capitol in a short, but searing, statement Wednesday evening.
"His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice," Mattis wrote.
Mattis, who resigned from his position in Trump's administration in 2018, insisted that the American people would overcome the division but that Trump "will deservedly be left a man without a country."
Melania Trump's top aide, Stephanie Grisham, resigns
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.
CEOs and business leaders condemn 'appalling events' at Capitol, push for unity
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."