In video message, Trump tells D.C. protesters to go home
In Carson City, hundreds of supporters of President Trump are in downtown Carson City. Earlier today Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong urged residents to avoid downtown.
“In anticipation of Electoral College demonstrations in the downtown area Wednesday, motorists and patrons are encouraged to avoid the area,” Furlong said in a statement. “Please anticipate heavy foot traffic throughout downtown area, drive with extreme caution and watch for pedestrians. Plan your travel accordingly, as motorists and pedestrians leave the campaign rally anticipate traffic delays. Both pedestrians and motorists must obey traffic laws. Motorists must always watch for pedestrians and be extra cautious when backing up. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and never pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks. Pedestrians must look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right and use crosswalks.”
Developments from around the U.S.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress’ tally of the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden (all times local):
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse is directly blaming President Donald Trump for the storming of the Capitol by huge, angry crowds of pro-Trump protesters.
The Nebraska lawmaker and frequent critic of Trump said Wednesday evening that the Capitol “was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution.”
Sasse says in a written statement, “Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”
The protesters broke into the building as Congress was beginning the formal process of certifying the electoral votes that gave Democratic President-elect Joe Biden a victory over Trump in November. Vice President Mike Pence has the ceremonial role of overseeing that certification and resisted Trump efforts to pressure him to overturn the election results.
Trump has continued to fallaciously claim that the voting was marred by fraud and that he actually won. Earlier Wednesday Trump addressed a huge crowd of protesters outside the White House and urged them to gather at the Capitol.
The Washington, D.C., police chief says at least five weapons have been recovered and at least 13 people have been arrested so far in pro-Trump protests.
The mostly maskless crowd stormed the Capitol earlier Wednesday as lawmakers were meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. One person was shot; their condition is unknown.
Police Chief Robert Contee called the attack a riot.
As darkness began to set in, law enforcement officials were working their way toward the protesters, using percussion grenades to try to clear the area around the Capitol. Big clouds of tear gas were visible.
Police were in full riot gear. They moved down the West steps, clashing with demonstrators.
Mayor Muriel Bowser earlier declared a 6 p.m. curfew.
President Donald Trump, in a video message, is urging supporters to “go home” but is also keeping up false attacks about the presidential election.
The video was issued more than two hours after protesters began storming the Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers convened for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results and President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Trump opened his video, saying, “I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now.”
He also went on to call the supporters “very special.” He also said, “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.”
Republican lawmakers and previous administration officials had begged Trump to give a statement to his supporters to quell the violence. The statement came as authorities struggled to take control of a chaotic situation at the Capitol that led to the evacuation of lawmakers.
At least one explosive device has been found near the U.S. Capitol amid a violent occupation of the building by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Law enforcement officials said the device was no longer a threat Wednesday afternoon.
Thousands of supporters of the president occupied the Capitol complex as lawmakers were beginning to tally the electoral votes that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Vice President Mike Pence has called on protesters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than Trump, who merely called for his supporters to “remain peaceful.”
President-elect Joe Biden has called the violent protests on the U.S. Capitol “an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people’s business.”
Biden also demanded President Donald Trump to immediately make a televised address calling on his supporters to cease the violence that he described as an “unprecedented assault’ as pro-Trump protestors violently occupy U.S. Capitol.
Biden’s condemnation came after violent protesters breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, forcing a delay in the constitutional process to affirm the president-elect’s victory in the November election.
Biden addressed the violent protests as authorities struggled to take control of a chaotic situation at the Capitol that led to the evacuation of lawmakers.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power, forcing lawmakers to be rushed from the building and interrupting challenges to Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Trump issued a restrained call for peace well after the melee was underway but did not urge supporters to disperse. Earlier he had egged them on to march to Capitol Hill. The Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol.
Wednesday’s ordinarily mundane procedure of Congress certifying a new president was always going to be extraordinary, with Republican supporters of Trump vowing to protest results of an election that they have baselessly insisted was reversed by fraud. But even the unusual deliberations, which included the Republican vice president and Senate majority leader defying Trump’s demands, were quickly overtaken.
In a raucous, out-of-control scene, protesters fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls. One person was reported shot at the Capitol, according to a person familiar with the situation. That person’s condition was unknown.
The protesters abruptly interrupted the congressional proceedings in an eerie scene that featured official warnings directing people to duck under their seats for cover and put on gas masks after tear gas was used in the Capitol Rotunda.
With the crowds showing no signs of abating, Trump tweeted, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” Earlier, at his rally, he had urged supporters to march to the Capitol.
Senators were being evacuated. Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices.
Demonstrators fought with Capitol Police and then forced their way into the building, not long after a huge rally near the White House during which Trump egged them on to march to Capitol Hill.
Lawmakers had convened for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results.
Though fellow Republicans were behind the challenge to Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to lower tensions and argued against it. He warned the country “cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes” with “separate facts.”
McConnell declared, “The voters, the courts and the states all have spoken.”
But other Republicans, including House GOP leaders among Trump’s allies were acting out the pleas of supporters at his huge Wednesday rally up Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House to “fight for Trump.”
“We have to fix this,” said Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the GOP whip.
The last-gasp effort is all but certain to fail, defeated by bipartisan majorities in Congress prepared to accept the November results. Biden i s to be inaugurated Jan. 20.
Still, Trump vowed to he would “never concede” and urged the massive crowd to march to the Capitol where hundreds had already gathered under tight security.
“We will never give up,” Trump told his noontime rally.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress’ tally of the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden (all times local):
The U.S. Capitol Police are evacuating some congressional office buildings due to “police activity” as thousands gather outside the Capitol to protest the electoral vote.
Police told congressional staff members they should evacuate the Cannon House Office Building and the building that houses the Library of Congress. It wasn’t immediately clear what specifically sparked the evacuation.
A police spokeswoman did not immediately respond to calls and emails seeking comment.
Thousands of people have descended on the U.S. Capitol as Congress is expected to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential win. Videos posted online showed protesters fighting with U.S. Capitol Police officers as police fired pepper spray to keep them back.
The Senate’s top Republican has told his colleagues that Congress should not override the voters’ verdict in electing Democrat Joe Biden president, saying, “If we overrule them we will damage our republic forever.”
The Kentucky Republican made his remarks as the Senate weighed a challenge by a handful of GOP lawmakers to the 11 electoral votes Arizona cast for Biden.
It was the first of several states’ electoral votes that some Republicans are challenging, encouraged by President Donald Trump’s groundless charges that the election was riddled with fraud. Congress seems certain to reject all those challenges on Wednesday and formally certify Biden’s victory.
McConnell says while all elections have irregularities, they weren’t “anywhere near the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election.” He says Congress should not declare itself “a national board of elections on steroids,” and says reversing the election results would push the country’s democratic institutions toward “a death spiral.”
Republicans from the House and Senate have objected to the counting of Arizona’s electoral vote, forcing votes in both chambers on Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
The objection was made by Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar and was signed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Both are Republicans. The two chambers now have two hours to debate the challenge.
Biden won the state by more than 10,000 votes. In all, eight lawsuits challenging Biden’s Arizona win have failed, in part over a lack of evidence.
The state’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of an election challenge, because the plaintiff lacked the right to bring the suit in the first place. The woman wasn’t a registered voter when she sued.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, has said there were no irregularities with the vote in her state.
President Donald Trump is taking aim at Republican members of Congress who have refused to join him in his effort to contest the results of the November election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.
Trump on Wednesday told a large crowd of supporters gathered on the Ellipse that they needed to vote these Republicans out of office by putting up challengers in primary elections to push them out.
“If they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight,” Trump said, calling the Republicans who aren’t siding with him “weak.”
Earlier, he named and praised Republicans who have pledged to contest the electoral votes of some states when they come up for approval on Capitol Hill.
His supporters, who braved chilly, windy conditions, chanted “Fight for Trump!”
Congress has begun a joint session to count and confirm the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden.
With supporters of President Donald Trump gathering around the Capitol, more than a dozen Republican senators and more than 100 Republican House members have said they will object to the count from as many as six battleground states. They are echoing Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud.
Their efforts are almost certain to fail as many Republicans have said they will oppose the objections. But the session is expected to last into the night on Wednesday as the House and Senate must consider each objection separately and vote on whether to sustain it.
Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the session. He has no power to overturn the results, despite pressure from Trump to do so.
Biden won the Electoral College 306-232. He is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20.
Vice President Mike Pence is defying President Donald Trump, saying he does not have the unilateral ability to discard electoral votes that will make Joe Biden president on Jan. 20.
Pence, in a statement issued minutes before he was to begin presiding over a joint session of Congress to count electoral votes, said, “It is my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.”
Trump has pressured his vice president to toss electors from battleground states that voted for Biden during the session.
President Donald Trump is continuing his pressure-campaign against Vice President Mike Pence, telling thousands of supporters falsely that all Pence has to do to stay in office is send Electoral College votes back to the states to be recertified.
Pence has no such unilateral power under the Constitution and congressional rules that govern the count. It is up to the House and Senate to voice objections, and in any case the states’ electors were chosen in accordance with state law, not fraudulently.
The demonstrators on the Ellipse, south of the White House, cheered Trump on and planned to march to Capitol Hill where Congress will vote to affirm or contest the Electoral College results. The president said he’d be walking with the crowd.
“All Mike Pence has to do is send it back to the states,” Trump said, urging his loyal vice president to join lawmakers who are protesting President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us,” Trump said, “and if he doesn’t it’s a sad day for our country.” Trump said it would take courage for Pence not to contest the results.
President Donald Trump is vowing that “we will never concede” as he speaks to supporters shortly before Congress is to convene for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College vote won by President-elect Joe Biden.
Trump took the stage at the Save America rally, which drew thousands of supporters who swamped the nation’s capital as the president’s Republican allies in the House and Senate plan to object to his November election loss to Biden.
Trump urged Vice President Mike Pence, who will play a largely ceremonial role in the process, to block certification of Biden’s win. Pence does not have this power.
“Our country has had enough,” Trump said. “We won’t take it anymore.”
Sen. Mitt Romney says President Donald Trump’s election challenge has “disgraced the office of the presidency.”
Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill ahead of Wednesday’s joint session to confirm Joe Biden’s Electoral College win that he was certain of the outcome.
“I’m confident that we’ll proceed as the Constitution demands and tell our supporters the truth — whether or not they want to hear it,” Romney said.
Republican lawmakers are picking up Trump’s demands to challenge the results from several states. But they are not expected to have enough votes in Congress to change the results. Biden is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Romney said, “President Trump has disrespected the American voters, has dishonored the election system and has disgraced the office of the presidency.”
He called the “gambit” of the challenges in Congress “very disappointing.”