President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday forcefully condemned the violence in the nation’s capital as “insurrection” and called on President Trump to demand an end to the “siege.”
In remarks after a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, Biden decried the events as an assault on the rule of law and demanded an end to the “chaos.”
“Let me be very clear — the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are. What we are seeing is 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,” Biden said.
“It’s not protest. It’s insurrection,” Biden said.
Biden called on Trump to “step up” and condemn the violence. Trump earlier had issued two tweets calling on protesters to be “peaceful” but has faced pressure from Republican allies and former aides to speak out more forcefully against the violence.
Minutes after Biden’s comments, Trump posted a video to his Twitter account urging supporters to “go home in peace” while reiterating a false claim that he won the presidential election.
Pro-Trump protesters flooded into Washington, D.C., to support some GOP lawmakers’ and the president’s efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election. Trump delivered a midday speech to the crowd on the National Mall in which he repeated claims that the election was “stolen” and urged them to go to the Capitol.
Biden, who was supposed to speak about the economy Wednesday afternoon, called the violence an “assault on the citadel of liberty” perpetrated by a “mob.” He also blamed Trump for inciting the events.
“The words of a president matter no matter how good or bad that president is. At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite,” Biden said. “Therefore, I call on president Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”