Barack Obama weighed in on the descent on the Capitol by thousands of Trump’s supporters, claiming: ‘We’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise’
Barack Obama weighed in on the unprecedented breach of Capitol Hill on Wednesday by thousands of Donald Trump’s supporters, claiming the chaos is not surprising based on the rhetoric surrounding the election.
‘History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation,’ Obama wrote in a statement Wednesday.
He added: ‘But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise.’
The former president remained largely silent on the scene taking place in Washington D.C. on January 6 – the same day Congress moved to certify the election for Joe Biden, who served as Obama’s vice president for eight years.
He weighed in, finally, around 8:00 p.m., as the massive scene at the Capitol dissipated and Congress continued their joint session to accept the Electoral College results six hours behind schedule.
‘Here’s my statement on today’s violence at the Capitol,’ Obama wrote in a tweet with an image of his statement attached.
‘Their [Republicans’] fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further fro reality, and it builds upon years of resentment,’ Obama wrote. ‘Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up in a violent crescendo.’
After listening to President Trump speak at the Ellipse Wednesday afternoon, thousands of supporters marched from there to Capitol Hill, where they were able to successfully breach the Capitol and obstruct Congress from their duty to certify the election.
The Capitol immediately went on lockdown, and lawmakers escorted from their respective chambers.
Obama said he feels optimistic that members of the GOP are turning against the president, claiming: ‘We need more leaders like these.’
The former president wrote in his statement ‘History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation’
As Obama released his statement, all three other remaining living presidents also released their statements on the matter.
Former Democratic President Bill Clinton released a statement in a four-part Twitter thread.
‘Today we faced an unprecedented assault on our Capitol, our Constitution, and our country,’ the 42nd president wrote. ‘The assault was fueled by more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another.’
He continued: ‘The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost. The election was free, the count was fair, the result is final. We must complete the peaceful transfer of power our Constitution mandates.’
‘I have always believed that America is made up of good, decent people. I still do,’ he said.
‘If that’s who we really are, we must reject today’s violence, turn the page, and move forward together—honoring our Constitution, remaining committed to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.’
Former President Jimmy Carter released a statement late Wednesday night, as Congress voted on whether to accept the Electoral College results.
‘This is a national tragedy,’ Carter said of the ‘violence at the U.S. Capitol.’
‘Having observed elections in troubled democracies worldwide, I know that we the people can unite to walk back from this precipice to peacefully uphold the laws of our nation, and we must,’ he added in the statement.
Former President George W. Bush, specifically, lashed out at Trump’s loyalists in Congress, claiming they are the ones who caused the president’s biggest supporters to storm the Capitol building.
‘It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight,’ the 43rd U.S. president said in his statement.. ‘This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic.’
Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney joined in on Bush’s sentiment.
Romney, who has been an outspoken critic of the president from his post as Utah senator the last two years, said the chaos on Capitol Hill was due to a ‘selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action.’
He also blamed his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate for agreeing to object to the Electoral College results and giving supporters false hope that there is a way to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.
‘The objectors have claimed they are doing so on behalf of the voters,’ Romney said in a statement released Wednesday. ‘Have an audit, they say, to satisfy the many people who believe that the election was stolen. Please! No Congressional led audit will ever convince those voters, particularly when the President will continue to claim that the election was stolen.’
Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney (left) and former Republican President George W. Bush (right) also condemned the Wednesday siege of the Capitol, claiming GOP lawmakers were to blame for inciting the action by planning to challenge the Electoral College results
Bush released a statement calling the scene at the Capitol ‘sickening’ and how election results are ‘disputed in a banana republic’
Romney condemned his Republican colleagues in Congress in a Wednesday statement, writing: ‘The objectors have claimed they are doing so on behalf of the voters. Have an audit, they say, to satisfy the many people who believe that the election was stolen. Please! No Congressional led audit will ever convince those voters, particularly when the President will continue to claim that the election was stolen’
A group of Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate launched a plan to object to the election results, siding with the president on his still unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud and an outcome ‘rigged’ by the Democrats.
Bush said in his statement: ‘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,’ Bush continued.
Romney urged his fellow GOP lawmakers to ‘show respect for voters’ upset with the election results and ‘tell them the truth’ about the election outcome. ‘That is the burden, and the duty, of leadership,’ he explained in his statement.
‘The truth is that President-elect Biden won this election,’ Romney reiterated. ‘President Trump lost.’
Bush also condemned the president and his thousands of supporters who took siege of the Capitol on Wednesday in an unprecedented and massive demonstration after marching from a rally with the prescient at the Ellipse to Capitol Hill.
The supporters were obstructing a joint session of Congress from moving forward with certifying Biden’s victory, the next move in propelling the president-elect to the White House.
Bush called the scene an ‘insurrection.’
Starting Wednesday afternoon, thousands of protesters who traveled to Washington D.C. to protest the election results marched from the Ellipse near the White House to the Capitol to interrupt the session.
Vice President Mike Pence was evacuated from the Senate chamber shortly after 2 p.m., along with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the president pro tempore – who is in the line of succession for the presidency.
Thousands of pro-Trump protesters descended on Capitol Hill Wednesday obstructing Congress from certifying the election for Joe Biden
The demonstrators were able to breach the Capitol and shut down the process of certification by wandering the halls, sitting at lawmakers and aides’ desks, confronting law enforcement and banging down the doors of the chambers
Protesters could be heard banging on the doors as senators attempted to continue their debate on the electoral college count.
Shortly after 2:30 p.m., the entire chamber was evacuated before the breach occurred and demonstrators were able to make their way inside the building.
As they rushed away congressional leaders, Senate parliamentary staff grabbed hold of the boxes containing the electoral college certificates and took them out.
The president’s supporters wandered the halls of Congress and into the House and Senate chambers, sat at the desks of lawmakers and their aides and one, quite literally, hung from the rafters off the side of the Senate viewing balcony.