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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.

Photo: Workers build a wall around the Capitol

Image: A day after Trump supporters occupied the U.S. Capitol building, in Washington
Workers install a fence in front of the Capitol on Thusday, the day after Trump supporters occupied the building. Stephanie Keith / Reuters

Trump says 'there will be an orderly transition on January 20th'

President Donald Trump early Thursday said there would be "an orderly transition on January 20th."

The president released the statement through the White House minutes after Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's win. 

In his statement, the president again made false claims about the outcome of the election but said that this month will bring to end "the greatest first term in presidential history."

Read the full story here

Congress confirms Joe Biden's Electoral College win

Early Thursday, Congress finished counting the Electoral College votes and confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's win after a chaotic day that resulted in four deaths and forced lawmakers to evacuate the Capitol. 

Despite the disruption and objections from Republicans to election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, members of the House and the Senate were able to certify the Electoral College more than 14 hours after the process began. 

Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated as the 46th president on Jan. 20. 

Pennsylvania objection fails in the House

The objection to Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes failed in the House, moving the counting process along after a series of delays during what was previously thought of as a simply ceremonial event. 

A total of 138 House members voted to sustain the objection, and 282 members opposed the motion. 

While the Senate decided to forgo any discussion on the objection before voting to strike the motion, House members engaged in two hours of debate. Legislators from both chambers can now resume their joint session and finish counting the Electoral College votes. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., previously said he did not expect any more votes for the evening.

Oregon's Merkley shows damage to Senate office

Capitol Complex declared all-clear

Early Thursday morning, Capitol Police declared the Capitol Complex all clear.

A notice was sent to congressional staff about 1:15 a.m. indicating that officials had cleared the security threat after a mob stormed the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.

The official notice indicating that normal operations could resume came as the House debated objections to the election results in Pennsylvania. 

Rep. Grace Meng on being barricaded in the Capitol: 'I texted everyone I loved'

Pennsylvania objection fails in the Senate with no debate

Senators chose to skip all debate and immediately voted to strike down an objection to Pennsylvania's Electoral College certification early Thursday. 

Only seven senators voted to sustain the objection, while 92 opposed the motion. 

The objection, raised by Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., and co-signed by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., came after no senators co-signed objections to three other states' votes.   

Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, both voted to sustain the objection. Sens. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Rick Scott of Florida, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and Roger Marshall of Kansas also voted in favor of the objection.

Members of the House continue to debate before voting on the objection. 

Hawley objects to Pennsylvania certification

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., joined Republican House members in objecting to Pennsylvania's Electoral College certification, forcing the congressional chambers to split into individual sessions. 

Although senators withdrew their objections for Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, Hawley co-signed the opposition to Pennsylvania, as he had told his fellow lawmakers he planned to do when the Senate reconvened earlier in the evening. But Hawley also said he intended to yield his time in the two-hour debate.

It's unclear how long each chamber will debate the objection before moving to a vote. 

Congressional rules say any objection to an Electoral College ballot certification must be signed by both a senator and a member of the House. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., joined Hawley's challenge.  

FBI calls for help identifying people who stormed Capitol

The FBI on Wednesday evening put out a call for information related to the mob that stormed the Capitol.

"The FBI is seeking information that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, DC," the agency said in an announcement. "The FBI is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building and surrounding area in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021."

Only a handful of people were arrested during the unrest Wednesday.

Trump administration staffers are discussing the 25th Amendment

Multiple sources familiar with the matter said there have been informal discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment among staff-level officials within the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump spent the day inciting and praising a mob that stormed the Capitol, so much so that he has been locked out of Twitter and Facebook for at least 12 hours.

It's unclear whether Cabinet-level officials have discussed the matter; two sources said the issue hasn't been broached with Vice President Mike Pence, who would need to agree along with a majority of the Cabinet to empower the vice president under the 25th Amendment.

The conversations have been fueled in part by concerns of unrest and insurrection throughout the U.S. over the next two weeks, before President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as president, but there are some large questions.

A source said it is unclear whether it would be legally possible to invoke the 25th Amendment in two weeks and whether enough Cabinet-level officials would back the effort.

On CNN, former national security adviser John Bolton warned against invoking the 25th Amendment, saying it could make matters worse.

"I acknowledge this is dangerous, but I'll say again, we ought to bear in mind the adage 'do no harm,' because you can make this worse if we're not careful," he said.

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. 

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

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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."

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.

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.

White House officials resigning after riots in the Capitol

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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."

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." 

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

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."

Read the full story here.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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."

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."

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." 

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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. 

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.”

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.

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

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.

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.

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." 

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. 

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

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.


'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." 

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.

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, 

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.

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

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. 

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

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.

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.”


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!"

'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.”

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.

Trump authorizes National Guard to Capitol protests

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. 

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. 

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.

Photo: Protester sits at Capitol desk

A supporter of President Donald Trump sits at a desk after invading the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

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.

Pelosi, VP-elect Harris both safe, officials say

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. 

Pelosi, Washington Mayor call for National Guard help

Protesters are on the Senate floor

Photos: Protesters breach the Capitol

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
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
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

Protesters breach the Senate chamber, House door barricaded

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. 

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.

Trump's online base sours on Pence

As some supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol, members of the president’s largest internet communities immediately turned on Vice President Mike Pence, as it became clear he would not overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Supporters in “watch party” threads on some extremist websites pushed elaborate, QAnon-style conspiracy theories about Pence, claiming that he was part of an elaborate plot by Satanists to take over the world. Others simply expressed feelings of betrayal, and encouraged others to storm the Capitol.

Pro-Trump online forums had planned online for days to storm the Capitol if the election was not overturned in favor of Donald Trump.

After escalating attacks, Trump urges 'peaceful' protest

Minutes after posting an escalating attack on Vice President Mike Pence, Trump sent a second missive urging peaceful protest.


The tweet does not acknowledge that Trump has incited the protest by advancing baseless conspiracy theories about the results of the election.

Pro-Trump protesters breach Capitol, Pence whisked away

The House and Senate suddenly recessed Wednesday afternoon around 2:15 p.m. ET as pro-Trump protests escalated.

Vice President Mike Pence was ushered quickly out of the Senate chamber as it recessed and the debate between senators had to stop mid-speech. A member of the Senate told NBC News that Pence and Sen. Charles Grassley, the president pro-tempore, have been taken to a secure location.  

This came as pro-Trump demonstrators breached the barricades and crowded on the Capitol steps, which is normally only accessible to lawmakers. People jumped the barricades surrounding the Capitol and police began running down hallways inside, telling people to get away from the windows.

A police officer on the third floor began shouting that protesters had gotten inside the building and that people should take shelter.  

All visitors and staff must go through metal detectors every time they enter any part of the Capitol complex, including nearby House and Senate office buildings. While the entrances that the protesters were crowding near have metal detectors inside, it's easier to circumvent them as it's normally only entrances for lawmakers. 

Senators were locked inside their chamber on the second floor of the Capitol building and protesters wearing Trump "Make America Great Again" hats and carrying flags were seen gathering outside the chamber doors. Senate chaplain Barry Black ran down the hallway, away from the Senate chambers, to his office.

"Immediately seek shelter in the closest office," an announcement over a loudspeaker said across the Capitol, which told people to lock doors as well, amid the security threat. “Remain quiet and await further directions.”

Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., told MSNBC that he's "never experienced anything like this."

Trump continues his attacks as protesters storm the Capitol

President Donald Trump continued to escalate his attacks and allegations of voter fraud, even as protesters have breached the locked-down Capitol amid security concerns.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump says.

Trump's claims are false. Vice President Mike Pence legally has no power in this process. 

Pence was rushed from the Senate chamber earlier today amid growing security concerns.

Democratic lawmaker evacuates office as protesters storm Capitol grounds

Cruz proposes Civil War-era solution, Klobuchar burns him for it

Sen. Ted Cruz in a rambling address intended for the purpose of objecting to Arizona’s electoral votes, proposed an “emergency audit” that he said would be modeled after one created after a contentious election in the years after the Civil War.

Citing the aftermath of the contentious 1876 election between Republican Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden, Cruz called for Congress to “appoint an electoral commission to examine claims of electoral fraud,” specifying that he’d prefer that such a commission “conduct a 10-day emergency audit, consider the evidence and resolve the claims.”

In 1876, after a contentious election full of accusations of improprieties, Democrats, in a deal known as the Compromise of 1877, conceded the race to Hayes in exchange for the end of Reconstruction — a notorious pact that included the withdrawal of federal troops from former Confederate states who'd been sent there to protect the rights of newly emancipated Black people.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaking next, exposed Cruz’s hypocrisy, pointing out that the Texas Republican had not sought such audits in the races of the many Republican candidates who won House seats and who were sworn into Congress last week — even though whatever objections Cruz raised in the presidential election should have theoretically applied to other federal races as well. 

"I did not see Senator Cruz over at the swearing in at the House of Representatives last Sunday asking for an audit,” she said. “He did not stop their swearing in because there was no fraud.”

McConnell’s calls for 'shared commitment to the truth' after not acknowledging Biden's win for weeks

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell  gave a powerful speech on the floor demanding that members return to “a shared commitment to the truth” that keeps American democracy in working order.

"Self-government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth and a shared respect to the ground-rules of our system. We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes, with two different sets of facts and separate realities,” he said.

It’s a remarkable statement, but it doesn’t come in a vacuum and ignores how McConnell has operated as a legislative leader while working with the nation's most mendacious president in U.S. history. 

In fact, McConnell has often kept mum while the president made repeated and sweeping false claims. Just this fall, Trump spent six weeks claiming victory in the 2020 election before McConnell congratulated Joe Biden on his presidential victory on Dec. 15.

In strongest words yet, McConnell rejects effort by Trump, GOP to overturn the election

In his strongest words yet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him and made clear he will not approve the objections raised by his GOP colleagues over the counting of electoral votes from key battleground states.

"Our Democracy would enter a death spiral" if election were overturned, McConnell said on the Senate floor.

"Mr. Trump claims the election was stolen," he said. "The assertions ranged from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories. I supported the president's right to use the legal system. Dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms all across our country. But over and over, the court rejected these claims, including all-star judges" nominated by Trump himself.

McConnell spoke on the floor as the chamber began two hours of debate on a motion to object to the certification of Arizona's electoral votes, which were awarded to Biden in November. The majority leader used his remarks to reprimand members of his own party who are challenging the official results of the election.

"We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids. Voters, courts and the states have all spoken. If we overrule them, It would damage our republic forever. This election actually was not unusually close," McConnell said. 

"It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this extraordinarily thin basis," he said. "And I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing. I will vote to respect the people's decision and defend our system of government as we know it." 

'We will never concede': Protesters march to Capitol as Congress meets to count electoral votes

Hundreds of protesters who massed in the nation's capital to support President Donald Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud descended on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon as Congress convened to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the November election.

The protesters marched en masse to the Capitol after Trump, speaking to a large crowd in front of the White House, vowed that he would never concede to Biden.

"We will never give up, we will never concede. You don't concede when there's theft involved," Trump said to a crowd of supporters, some of whom chanted "USA!" or waved anti-Biden banners.. He later falsely claimed Biden would be an "illegitimate" president.

Trump's groundless claims of voter fraud have been widely debunked, and his legal team's efforts to challenge the election results in court have been rejected by a succession of judges. Trump has claimed Wednesday's joint session of Congress represents a chance to overturn the election, even though state electors have already certified the results and the event inside the Capitol is ceremonial.

Read the story.

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.

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.

Photos: Trump supporters converge on Washington to protest election

See more photos from the protest in Washington.

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

GOP registers first objection after joint session of Congress gets underway

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.

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.

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. 

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

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.


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

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."

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. 

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

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."

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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

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.



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.

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.

Senator-elect Raphael Warnock celebrates projected win


Biden to deliver speech on small businesses affected by Covid

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.

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.

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!"

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. 

'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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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

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.