Radical Trump supporters storm the US Capitol. The Democrats complain about a “coup attempt”. The president himself praises his violent supporters as “something very special”: “We love you.”
Donald Trump supporters force their way into the Capitol as Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election is to be confirmed. An “attempted coup,” says Democratic MP Seth Moulton. “This is anarchy. This is an attempted coup,” he wrote on Twitter. “And it’s happening in America because of outlaw lawmakers.”
Republican Mike Gallagher says on CNN, “The president has to call this off. Blow it off! It’s over!” Former US President George W. Bush also later condemned the onslaught in a statement. “This is how election results are contested in a banana republic – not in our democratic republic,” writes Bush. “I am appalled by the ruthless behavior of some political leaders since the election.” People who had been incited by “untruths and false hopes” stormed the seat of the US parliament.
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Former President Barack Obama also accuses Trump of instigating violence at the Capitol. In a statement, Obama speaks of a “moment of great shame and shame for our nation”.
Hillary Clinton, the former Democratic presidential candidate, wrote on Twitter: “Today domestic terrorists have attacked the very foundation of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power after free elections. We must restore the rule of law and hold them accountable.”
Democratic MPs are calling for impeachment
Lawrence Summers, Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton, wants to hold one particularly accountable: “When order is restored, the president must be removed from office and sentenced.” He is far from alone with this demand. Various democratic MPs see it the same way. Ilhan Omar writes on Twitter. “We can’t allow him to stay in office. It’s about preserving our republic and keeping our oath.”
Ayanna Pressley writes: “Our democracy is literally under attack. Donald J. Trump incited this violence and is directly responsible for this attempted coup.” Jennifer Wexton writes: “The President animated these domestic terrorists even before the election. He could have stopped them at any time, instead he whipped them into a frenzy and incited them to the Capitol.”
The Democrat David Cicilline writes: “This is monstrous and the President caused it.” According to NBC, Cicilline and Ted Lieu want to call on Vice President Mike Pence to work on the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution. He allows Pence, along with the Cabinet and Congress, to determine the President’s incapacity for work and to take power himself.
Biden: Like nothing
President-elect Joe Biden said in a speech in his hometown of Wilmington: “Our democracy is undergoing an unprecedented attack, unlike anything we have seen in modern times.” It is an “attack on our center of power”. He urges Trump: “Now appear on TV and demand an end to this siege!”
The leading Democrats in Congress, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer, also published a joint statement: “We call on President Trump to urge all protesters to leave the US Capitol immediately.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani addresses “all the patriots who are contesting the fraudulent election” on Twitter. The President wanted them to “express their opinion peacefully”. According to CNN, Trump’s daughter Ivanka first wrote about “American Patriots” on Twitter, but then deleted the tweet. “The violence must stop,” she writes.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was shocked. “Today’s storm on the Capitol is unacceptable. Lawlessness and unrest – here or around the world – are always unacceptable … America is better than what we saw today in a place where I served as a member of Congress and saw democracy at its best firsthand, “wrote Pompeo on Twitter.
Trump: You are very special
The outgoing US President himself initially complains on Twitter that Vice President Mike Pence did not have the “guts” to prevent Biden from being appointed President – which is actually not in his power. After that, Trump made two tweets calling on his supporters to stay “peaceful”.
The head of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, comments: “It’s a little late for that now. Don’t you think?”
In a unanimous video speech, Trump then repeated his unsubstantiated allegations that the election had been stolen. He understands the anger and pain about the outcome of the election, but “we have to have peace, we have to have law and order,” he says and calls for people to go home peacefully.
And then he says to his followers, who have just forcibly stormed the Capitol, “We love you. You are very special.”