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.
Pence encouraged rapid deployment of National Guard; Trump had to be convinced
President Donald Trump had to be persuaded to deploy the National Guard on Wednesday afternoon as rioters — a mob of his supporters — breached the U.S. Capitol, a person familiar with the matter said.
Vice President Mike Pence — who was trapped in the Capitol under siege — was in contact with the Defense Department, according to the source, and "encouraged a much more rapid deployment than what was occurring."
The New York Times first reported the news.
Loeffler says she will not object to certification as planned
Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her election bid in Georgia on Tuesday to Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock, said she would not object to Congress' counting the presidential electoral votes as she had planned.
"When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes," Loeffler said Wednesday evening. "However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider. I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors. The violence, the lawlessness and siege of the halls of Congress are abhorrent and stand as a direct attack on the very institution my objection was intended to protect: the sanctity of the American democratic process."
Loeffler nonetheless doubled down on the false claims that there were "last-minute changes" and "serious irregularities" in the election, seemingly justifying her plans to object to the process. Her colleagues applauded her remarks.
Facebook suspends Trump's account for 24 hours
Facebook suspended President Donald Trump's account for 24 hours for violating two of its policies in posts in which he continued to push conspiracy theories about the election after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Twitter and YouTube removed posts from his accounts, including a video in which he repeated unfounded claims that the election was taken from him and encouraged his supporters to disperse after violence erupted at the Capitol. In the video Wednesday, he said that law and order were needed and that he loved his supporters.
Twitter suspended Trump's account for 12 hours and warned that further violations of its rules "will result in permanent suspension."
The removals are dramatic steps given past hesitancy to curb the speech of political figures, including the president. Twitter and Facebook have placed fact-check labels on some of Trump's posts when they included information that violated their rules, and Twitter has temporarily locked Trump's personal and campaign accounts before.
Gabrielle Giffords shares message to husband Sen. Mark Kelly
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords offered a touching message to her husband, Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., after learning he was safe as a mob stormed the Capitol.
"As I sat waiting for information about @SenMarkKelly's safety today, I couldn't stop thinking about what you must have gone through 10 years ago this week," Giffords tweeted.
Wednesday was two days short of the 10th anniversary of the day Giffords was nearly killed at a constituent event in Arizona. She was the target of a gunman who shot her in the head, nearly paralyzing her.
Giffords resigned in 2012 to focus on her recovery and has since focused her attention on advocating for gun control. Kelly was sworn in to his Senate seat last month.
Schumer slams Capitol storming as Trump's 'final terrible indelible legacy'
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Wednesday directly blamed President Donald Trump for inciting the rioters who ransacked the Capitol earlier in the day, saying that “his words, his lies” were squarely to blame for motivating his supports to storm the building.
“This will be a stain on our country, not so easily washed away. The final terrible indelible legacy of the 45th president of the United States. Undoubtedly our worst,” Schumer said.
Schumer added that “this president bears a great deal of the blame” and that the “mob was, in good part, President Trump's doing, incited by his words, his lies.”
“This violence, is in good part, his responsibility, his everlasting shame. Today's events certainly would not have happened without him,” he said.
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus chair: I feared for marginalized groups
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., told NBC Asian America that she was in her office watching the Electoral College vote-counting process when the pro-Trump mob breached the barricade and entered the Capitol building.
"I am in shock," said Chu, the chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. "And I've never imagined I would see a day like this. And yet, in reality, President Trump was building up toward this day with his incitement of the rioters telling them to undermine the results of the election."
Chu said during the incident, she was concerned for individuals of color, including Asian Americans, a community that has been targeted by Covid-related racism. Studies have linked the incidents to Trump's use of rhetoric like "China virus." Chu said she felt it was possible that supporters could take cues from the president's words.
“I think that they would have used all kinds of ugly reasons to target all kinds of people," she said. "I think that they would target people of color. They would target somebody who they felt were immigrants. And certainly they might target AAPIs because of President Trump's ugly rhetoric on the 'Wuhan virus,' and 'China virus.' So there were all kinds of reasons that people could have been targeted, and certainly AAPIs could be one of them.”
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."