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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.


699d ago / 5:07 AM UTC

Top Pence aide banned from the White House by Trump

President Donald Trump banned Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, from entering the White House after Pence refused to overturn the results of the election, according to a person close to Pence. 

Short, who had once served as Trump's head of legislative affairs, had been advising Pence on the procedure for overseeing the counting of Electoral College votes. Trump had pressured Pence in recent days to reject the election results, which Pence said he didn't have the ability to do under the Constitution. 

699d ago / 4:44 AM UTC

On a dark day, an ode to the beauty of the Capitol

699d ago / 4:28 AM UTC

Three dead near Capitol in 'separate medical emergencies'

Washington Police Chief Robert Contee said three more deaths were reported near the Capitol riots after people had apparently suffered "separate medical emergencies."

He did not provide additional details about the deaths, which brought the death toll in Wednesday's riots to four. Earlier, a woman who had been shot by Capitol Police was pronounced dead. The circumstances of the shooting will be investigated, Contee said.

Fourteen officers were injured in the riots, as well, and two were hospitalized after they sustained injuries in the demonstrations. One officer sustained serious injuries after being pulled into the crowd and assaulted. 

Contee also said two pipe bombs had been uncovered — one at the Republican National Committee and one at the Democratic National Committee — as well as long guns and Molotov cocktails that were found in a truck on the Capitol grounds.

699d ago / 4:13 AM UTC

House rejects Arizona certification objection

The House followed the Senate in rejecting an attempt to object to Arizona's Electoral College certification. 

A total of 121 Republican members voted to sustain the objection, while 303 House members were opposed.

Members of both chambers will reconvene in a joint session to continue the Electoral College certification process. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., told his fellow lawmakers that he still intends to object to Pennsylvania's certification but will yield his speaking time to move toward a vote.

If Hawley objects, the chambers will split into their individual sessions once again and have up to two hours of debate time before voting on the objection. 

699d ago / 3:51 AM UTC

Emergency order in D.C. extended by two weeks

Washington, D.C. will extend its emergency order for two more weeks, through the end of President Donald Trump's term, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced late Wednesday.

"President Trump continues to fan rage and violence," Bowser said in a statement announcing a 15-day extension. 

Earlier Wednesday, in the wake of the overrunning of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump mobs, Bowser ordered a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

699d ago / 3:34 AM UTC

Gaetz: Antifa was behind Capitol mob

After Republicans' rigged election lie incited chaos throughout Congress on Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., stood on the floor of the House and advanced another fringe conspiracy theory.

"I don't know if the reports are true, but The Washington Times has just reported some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company that some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters — they were masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa," Gaetz said.

Radical conservative activists and allies of President Donald Trump began to spread the theory earlier Wednesday.

699d ago / 3:19 AM UTC

Objection to Arizona certification fails in Senate

An effort to object to Arizona's Electoral College certification overwhelmingly failed in the Senate on Wednesday night after a mob's breach of the Capitol. 

Only six senators supported the objection; 93 were opposed. 

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri both voted to sustain the objection. Sens. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Roger Marshall of Kansas also voted in favor of the objection.

Members of the Senate and the House were debating the certification after Republican lawmakers opposed the tallying of the votes in several battleground states. Lawmakers reconvened in the Senate at 8 p.m. to finalize the normally pro forma process. 

699d ago / 3:15 AM UTC

Sen. Lindsey Graham: 'Count me out. Enough is enough.'

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close ally of President Donald Trump's, virulently condemned efforts to object to congressional recognition of the election.

"All I can say is count me out. Enough is enough," Graham said in a fast-talking, sometimes free-wheeling five-minute address to the Senate. He argued that both the courts and others had no proof of voter fraud and that even though he had been a stalwart supporter of Trump in recent years, it was time to move on. 

"Final thing: Joe Biden. I've traveled the world with Joe. I hoped he'd lose. I prayed he would lose. He won. He is the legitimate president of the United States," Graham said. "I cannot convince people, certain groups, by my words, but I will tell you by my actions, that maybe I — among, above all others in this body — need to say this: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and the vice president of the United States on January the 20th."

699d ago / 3:05 AM UTC
699d ago / 3:01 AM UTC

30 arrested for curfew violations

Thirty people have been arrested for curfew violations in Washington, double the number arrested after the storming of the Capitol earlier Wednesday. 

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser imposed a 6 p.m. curfew, and multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Maryland National Guard, were called to restore order after rioters breached Congress. 

At least 30 people had been arrested for violating curfew as of 9:30 p.m., Bowser's office said; 15 people were arrested after the mob stormed the Capitol.

699d ago / 2:56 AM UTC

Carter, Clinton join chorus of former presidents decrying Capitol violence

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton decried the "unprecedented assault" and "national tragedy" brought by Wednesday's Capitol riots.

"Rosalynn and I are troubled by the violence at the U.S. Capitol today," Carter said in a statement. "This is a national tragedy and is not who we are as a nation." 

Carter, the 39th president, didn't call out President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the mobs, but Clinton, the 42nd president, cited four years of a truth-challenged White House

"Today we faced an unprecedented assault on our Capitol, our Constitution, and our country. The assault was fueled by more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another," Clinton tweeted. 

"The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost."

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had earlier voiced their strong opposition to the violence.

699d ago / 2:48 AM UTC

White House officials resigning after riots in the Capitol

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A growing number of White House officials have submitted their resignations after President Donald Trump's rhetoric led to the riots in the Capitol on Wednesday, and more are expected to follow. 

Melania Trump's chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, a former White House press secretary, resigned Wednesday afternoon, and deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews has also resigned. Social secretary Rickie Niceta did so, as well, according to a person familiar with the matter.

"As someone who worked on the halls of Congress, I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today," Matthews said in a statement to NBC News. "I'll be stepping down from my role, effective immediately. Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power."

More senior members of the Trump administration are also considering putting in their letters of resignation, including national security adviser Robert O'Brien, deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Transportation Department has not responded to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for the National Security Council did not respond to a request for comment. 

Other White House officials have expressed dismay at Trump's rhetoric and blame him for the violence that followed his rally Wednesday. 

"Never did anyone think it would turn out like this," a longtime White House aide said. "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."

699d ago / 2:34 AM UTC

Sen. Booker: 'How will we confront this shame?'

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., equated the mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday with the Confederates of the Civil War, noting in his comments to fellow senators when the chamber reconvened that a Confederate flag was brought into the building. 

"Our democracy is wounded, and I saw it when I saw pictures of yet another insurgency of a flag of another group that tried to challenge our nation," Booker said. "I saw the flag of the Confederacy there. What will we do? How will we confront this shame? How will we confront this dark second time in American history?"

 

Booker invoked the memory of the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., asking fellow lawmakers to remember "a Georgian" and those who once stood arm in arm on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and said that together, "we shall overcome." 

Booker's speech was praised by Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the civil rights organization founded in 1940 by Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. 

"The sight of the Confederate flag carried through the halls of the Capitol was truly among the most truly awful images from today," Ifill said.

699d ago / 2:20 AM UTC

New York also sending National Guard to DC after pro-Trump riot

New York will send 1,000 National Guard personnel to Washington, D.C., after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, the governor said.

The Guard members are being sent at the request of the U.S. National Guard, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. They will stay "for up to two weeks to aid and facilitate the peaceful transition of presidential power," he said in a statement

The D.C. National Guard had also been fully activated. Virginia's governor said he was sending members of that state's National Guard and 200 state troopers to Washington.

699d ago / 2:16 AM UTC

Supermodel Karlie Kloss calls out rioters — and her Trump family

Supermodel Karlie Kloss called out the Capitol rioters and members of her own extended Trump family. 

"Accepting the results of a legitimate democratic election is patriotic,"  tweeted Kloss, who is married to Josh Kushner, the brother of President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. "Refusing to do so and inciting violence is anti-American."

When a Twitter follower asked Kloss to remind the Trump side of her family, she responded: "I’ve tried." 

Kloss has been open about not sharing the same political beliefs as her extended family.

699d ago / 1:54 AM UTC

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.

699d ago / 1:53 AM UTC

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. 

699d ago / 1:49 AM UTC

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.

699d ago / 1:40 AM UTC

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.

699d ago / 1:38 AM UTC
699d ago / 1:29 AM UTC

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.

699d ago / 1:27 AM UTC
699d ago / 1:25 AM UTC

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.”

699d ago / 1:22 AM UTC

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.

699d ago / 1:22 AM UTC

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."

699d ago / 1:13 AM UTC

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." 

699d ago / 1:12 AM UTC

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.

699d ago / 1:05 AM UTC

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." 

Image: NBA: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat
American Airlines Arena prior to the game between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics on Jan. 6, 2021 in Miami.Jasen Vinlove / USA TODAY Sports via Reuters
699d ago / 1:03 AM UTC

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." 

699d ago / 12:59 AM UTC
699d 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. 

699d ago / 12:50 AM UTC
699d 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.

699d ago / 12:39 AM UTC
699d 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.

699d 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. 

699d 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.

699d 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.

699d 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.

699d 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."

699d 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."

699d 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." 

699d 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.

699d 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. 

699d 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.

699d 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. 

699d 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
699d ago / 10:42 PM UTC
699d 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.

699d 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.