Vice President Mike Pence condemned the violent supporters of President Trump who stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday in an attempt to block certification of the presidential election results, as the Senate resumed its vote count after an hours-long delay.
“You did not win. Violence never wins,” Mr Pence said of the gang of people who responded to Mr Trump’s call to protest his loss in November’s presidential election.
Mr Pence said the Capitol was secured, and urged the Senate to “get back to work”.
Mr Trump has doubled down on his false claims of election fraud – even as the US Capitol building was under siege. In chaotic scenes, a woman was shot and killed and many others were injured as Congressmen fled for safety.
Follow the latest updates below.
Obama: attack on Congress ‘great shame’ but ‘not surprising’
Former President Barack Obama has said that history will rightly remember the violence at the Capitol as a moment of great dishonour and shame for the nation.
In a statement, Mr Obama said the violence was “incited by a sitting president” who baselessly lied about the outcome of the presidential election. He has convinced his supporters of a false claim, that he lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden only because Democrats cheated.
Mr Obama said it should not have come as a surprise, and that for two months “a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth.”
He said “their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo.”
Rioters could face severe punishments
Donald Trump’s “patriots ” might be in a little bother, at least judging by a tweet in July, writes David Millward.
“After mayhem in Portland Oregon he wrote that those who vandalise federal buildings will be prosecuted under the recently re-enacted Statues and Monuments Act and face a ‘MINIMUM TEN YEARS IN PRISON’ – the capital letters are from a tweet by the president. The court cases might be interesting.”
Who stormed the Capitol?
The storming of the US Capitol is a jarring but natural product of years of violence and hateful rhetoric stoked by disinformation and conspiracy theories, experts on far-right extremism said as they watched Wednesday’s riot.
Members of far-right groups, including the Proud Boys, joined the crowds that formed in Washington to cheer on President Trump as he urged them to protest Congress’s counting of Electoral College votes confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
Then they headed to the Capitol. Members of smaller white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups also were spotted in the crowds. Police were photographed stopping a man identified as a leading promoter of the QAnon conspiracy theory from storming the Senate floor.
Online forums popular with Trump supporters lit up with gleeful posts about the chaotic scenes broadcast from the Capitol. Thousands of messages on Parler, a right-wing alternative to Twitter, included the hashtag #civilwar or other variations of the term.
Trump supporters protesting across US
Protesters backing President Trump massed outside statehouses from Georgia to New Mexico on Wednesday, leading some officials to evacuate while cheers rang out at several demonstrations.
Hundreds of people gathered in state capitals nationwide to oppose President-elect Joe Biden’s win, waving signs saying “Stop the steal” and “Four more years.” Most of them didn’t wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, and some carried guns in places like Oklahoma, Georgia, Arizona and Washington.
There were some scuffles in states like Ohio and California, with some instances of journalists or counter-protesters being pepper-sprayed or punched, but most demonstrations were peaceful – some of them quite small – and only a few arrests were reported.
New Mexico police evacuated staff as a precaution from a state building that includes the governor’s office and the secretary of state’s office, shortly after hundreds of flag-waving supporters arrived in a vehicle caravan and on horseback.
Melania Trump’s chief of staff quits
Stephanie Grisham, the former White House press secretary and the chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump, has resigned following the protesters, officials told CNN.
Ms Grisham was one of the longest-serving officials in the Trump team. She worked or Donald Trump on the campaign trail in 2015 and was later a deputy press secretary in the White House.
Mr Grisham became the first lady’s most prominent staffer in 2017.
Woman shot during riot has died
A woman has died after being shot during the storming of the US Capitol, a spokeswoman for the Washington police department said.
No other details were available, the spokeswoman said. It remained unclear who shot the woman, but a witness said the shooting occurred after law enforcement authorities urged people to “get back”.
A protester from New Jersey told Washington CBS affiliate WUSA that he witnessed the woman being shot.
“We had stormed into the chambers inside, and there was a young lady who rushed to the windows; a number of police and Secret Service were saying, ‘Get back, get down, get out of the way,'” he said. “She didn’t heed the call and as we kind of raced up to grab people and pull them back, they shot her in the neck, and she fell back on me.”
The man told the local television station he saw blood coming from the woman’s mouth and neck and nose.
“It could have been me, but she went first,” he said.
Twitter suspends Trump account
Twitter has suspended Donald Trump’s account following a spate of false claims about election fraud that appear to have egged on the violent scenes in Washington on Wednesday.
Twitter said it locked Mr Trump’s account for repeatedly violating its rules and that it would remain locked until the president deleted the posts.
The social media giant has faced growing calls to remove Trump’s account for spreading misinformation and inciting violence.
Hearing will resume, says Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers will resume counting electoral votes on Wednesday once the US Capitol is given an all-clear, after the certification process was halted when Donald Trump supporters stormed the building.
“We have decided we should proceed tonight at the Capitol once it is cleared for use,” Ms Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues, after reports that the building was secured by police and demonstrators were removed.
The senior lawmaker blasted the storming of the Capitol as a “shameful assault” on American democracy that was “anointed at the highest level of government, but said “it cannot, however, deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden.”
The House had been meeting to certify the results of the election.
On Wednesday Democrats won both Senate seats up for grabs in Georgia following a run-off election.
Read more: How the dramatic day unfolded in Washington
George Bush condemns ‘banana republic’
Former US president George Bush has condemned the “sickening and heartbreaking sight” at the US Capitol and said he is “appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election”.
In a statement, Mr Bush appeared to attacked Donald Trump and the Republicans for the “the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement” and accused them of spreading “falsehoods”.
He added: “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic.”
“Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our Nation’s government in disbelief and dismay. It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes. Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation.”