President-elect Joe Biden and incumbent President Donald Trump each addressed the nation on Wednesday afternoon, after a mob of pro-Trump protestors stormed and infiltrated the U.S. Capitol, bringing the ceremonial counting of Electoral College votes to a halt.
At least one person was shot during the melee, the AP reports. That person, an unidentified woman, has since died, according to NBC News.
“At this hour, our democracy is been under unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself,” Biden said, opening his eight-and-a-half minute speech to the nation (embedded below). “[It was] an assault on the people’s representatives, the Capitol Hill police sworn to protect them and 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.
“Let me be very clear: The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America. Do not represent who we are,” he continued. “What we’re we’re seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now.”
“At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite,” Biden noted. “Therefore, I call on President Trump: Go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”
President-elect Biden addresses the nation: https://t.co/BXM3SZK25R
— Biden-Harris Presidential Transition (@Transition46) January 6, 2021
President Trump indeed followed with a video of his own, running 60 seconds and repeatedly regurgitating his claims of widespread voter fraud, which have been refuted by a range of election officials as well as AG William Barr himself (ahead of his recent resignation).
To the protestors, he said, “I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us… but you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law enforcement. We don’t want anybody hurt.
“It was a fraudulent election,” he again baselessly claimed, “but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home… We love you, you’re very special… Go home, and go home in peace.”
Twitter later removed Trump’s video for violating the site’s rules. Facebook also removed it shortly after it was posted “because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence,” according to a Facebook official.