NBC and ABC will preempt their entire Wednesday night lineups to present news coverage of the upheaval in Washington D.C., which was ignited when a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed and infiltrated the U.S. Capitol, bringing the ceremonial counting of Electoral College votes to a halt.
NBC will air three hours of news coverage beginning at 8/7c in Eastern and Central time zones, replacing new episodes of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. (#OneChicago repeats will air in Pacific and Mountain time zones.)
ABC will air a three-hour news special tonight at 8 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. CT, anchored by George Stephanopoulos and featuring World News Tonight‘s David Muir, ABC News Live Prime‘s Linsey Davis and ABC News’ political team. The special report will replace three previously scheduled episodes of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. (Shark Tank repeats will air from 8 to 11 p.m. in Pacific and Mountain time zones.)
CBS will air a two-hour special report, “CBS News Special: Assault on the Capitol,” beginning at 9 p.m. This replaces scheduled reruns of SEAL Team and S.W.A.T.
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CBS’ Late Show With Stephen Colbert and NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers will also air live on Wednesday night to cover the unrest, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Meyers’ guests will be MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace and rapper/political activist Killer Mike.
President-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation Wednesday afternoon, declaring, “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 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.”
President Donald Trump 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). Trump’s video was later removed from Facebook and Twitter for violating the sites’ rules.
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.”
“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.”