As supporters of President Donald Trump rallied outside the Capitol, clashing with police and breaching building security on Wednesday afternoon, President-elect Joe Biden called on Trump to “defend the Constitution.”
“At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault,” Biden said. “I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.”
Biden called the riots “an assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people’s representatives and the Capitol Hill police sworn to protect them, the public servants who work at the heart of our republic. An assault on the rule of law like few times we’ve ever seen it. An assault on the most sacred of American undertakings, the doing of the people’s business.”
“I am genuinely shocked and saddened that our nation, so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy, has come to such a dark moment,” the president-elect added. “This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now.”
Biden called on Trump “to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”
“To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, the floor of the United States Senate, rummaging through desks. On the Capitol, on the House of Representatives. Threatening the safety of duly elected officials. It’s not a protest, it’s insurrection,” Biden said. “The world is watching.”
“The words of a president matter — no matter how good or bad that president is,” Biden said.
Hours after the protests began and minutes after Biden spoke, Trump, in a video posted to Twitter, falsely said, “We had an election that was stolen from us,” baselessly calling it a “fraudulent election.”
“You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order,” Trump said. “We don’t want anybody hurt.”
“I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace,” Trump said, adding: “We love you. You’re very special.”
Twitter responded by saying that it’s blocking Trump’s video from being replied to, retweeted or liked “due to a risk of violence.”
Trump’s video has since been removed by Facebook.
“We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “We are actively reviewing and removing any content that breaks these rules.”
Vice president-elect Kamala Harris, who was on the Hill earlier Wednesday, echoed Biden’s comments in a tweet.
Biden to Trump: ‘Demand an end to this siege’ The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ ABC News.