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Reactions pour in after unprecedented scene at U.S. Capitol building: ‘The world is watching’

World leaders, diplomats, U.S. lawmakers share words about what just unfolded

A member of a pro-Trump mob screams out at the crowd from the inside the Capitol Building after breaking in on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
A member of a pro-Trump mob screams out at the crowd from the inside the Capitol Building after breaking in on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)

A mob of violent protesters made its way into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, forcing police to evacuate lawmakers and delaying the constitutional process to affirm President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.

Here are some of reactions from around the United States and the world:


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg

Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

President Donald Trump

At least two of his tweets were taken down by Twitter (and showing as “no longer available”) for violating the social media platform’s rules. As of Wednesday night, the only one that remained was this:

Trump had encouraged the “protesters” hours before, and refused to condemn the situation afterward. In a recorded video message, he called the rioters “special” and said, “We love you.”

Vice President Mike Pence

President-Elect Joe Biden

Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

Former President Barack Obama

Former President George W. Bush

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (in a joint statement with former Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas

Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana

Rep. William Timmons, R-South Carolina

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California

And a few more, compiled by the Associated Press:

Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne:

“Canada is deeply shocked by the situation in Washington, D.C. The peaceful transition of power is fundamental to democracy — it must continue and it will. We are following developments closely and our thoughts are with the American people.”

National security adviser Robert O’Brien:

“Violence has absolutely no place in our democracy. I applaud the men and women of law enforcement and the National Guard, who are working to restore order and protect our institutions. Our country is better than what we saw today at our Capitol.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska:

“Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution. Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons:

“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.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo:

“This is the final chapter of an incompetent, cruel, and divisive administration that has trampled on the Constitution and the rule of law at every turn, and we won’t let President Trump, the members of Congress who enable him, or the lawless mob that stormed our nation’s Capitol steal our democracy. The election results are clear and the will of the American people will be carried out.”

Thomas Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

“The attacks against our nation’s Capitol Building and our democracy must end now. The Congress of the United States must gather again this evening to conclude their Constitutional responsibility to accept the report of the Electoral College.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

“We are witnessing one of the greatest assaults on our democracy since the Civil War. Today’s attempted coup has been years in the making as Donald Trump consistently spews venom, conspiracies, hate and lies to his supporters. They are carrying out his wishes, and far too many Republican lawmakers have enabled and even encouraged this violent threat to our republic.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, Republican from Wyoming:

“We just had a violent mob assault the Capitol in an attempt to prevent those from carrying out our Constitutional duty. There is no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame.”

Former President Bill Clinton:

“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. 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. The election was free, the count was fair, the result is final. We must complete the peaceful transfer of power our Constitution mandates.”

We’ll continue to update this report as reactions continue coming in.


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