“This is a coup attempt,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, tweeted as another GOP lawmaker implored Trump to "call it off"

By Sean Neumann
January 06, 2021 04:05 PM
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Rioters at the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday
| Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty

U.S. lawmakers, both Republican and Democratic, have denounced President Donald Trump and his supporters’ storming of the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday.

“This is a coup attempt,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, tweeted.

Vice President Mike Pence called on the rioters to "stop now" and leave the building, saying violence "will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

President-elect Joe Biden called on Trump, 74, to go on national television and "demand an end to this siege.”

“It must end now," Biden, 78, said. "I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer release a joint statement "calling on President Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol grounds immediately."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, called in to Fox News and said shots had been fired in the U.S. Capitol, adding, “This is so un-American.”

CNN and ABC News soon reported a woman had been shot and was in critical condition, while video of the incident was shared on social media.

“I could not be sadder or more disappointed with the way our country looks at this very moment,” McCarthy added. “People are getting hurt. Anyone involved in this, if you’re hearing me, hear me very loud and clear: this is not the American way.”

Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin, compared the chaotic scene on Capitol Hill to his time serving in Iraq. Calling in to CNN, the GOP lawmaker implored Trump, 74, to “call it off.”

Rioters breach Capitol building
| Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty
Rioters at Capitol building
| Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty

Trump rallied his supporters for about an hour outside the White House as lawmakers prepared to ratify the electoral results and Vice President Mike Pence released a statement saying he did not have the authority or intent to reverse the 2020 results — despite Trump’s repeated requests he do so.

“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful,” Trump finally tweeted at 3:13 p.m. ET, after Pence was rushed from the Senate floor as rioters broke into the Capitol building, forcing lawmakers to seek refuge.

“No violence!” Trump added.

Kinzinger told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump’s statement was not enough to quell the uneasy scene in the nation’s capital, encouraged earlier by the president.

“It’s cowardice,” Kinzinger said about Trump’s statement.

A White House spokesperson did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on whether Trump would call on supporters to leave the Capitol building.

The president later shared a video message on Twitter repeating his baseless claims about his election loss, finally telling his supporters to "go home."

The video came after some of the most loyal Trump supporters in Congress called for the president to address the situation.

“Those storming the Capitol need to stop NOW,” tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz, who led a small group of Trump loyalists in objecting to the ratification of the Electoral College vote in Congress hours earlier.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, also asked Trump to address the rioters.

“Mr. President @realDonaldTrump the men & women of law enforcement are under assault. It is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down,” Rubio tweeted.

Many Democratic lawmakers also spoke out as the moment unfolded Wednesday.

“I have spent my entire adult life defending our Constitution and people’s rights to peacefully demonstrate,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois who lost her legs in battle in Iraq, tweeted. “I never thought I’d need to defend democracy from an attempted, violent overthrow in our own nation’s Capitol.”

Before rioters broke into the Capitol, lawmakers were debating on the House and Senate floors over Trump’s baseless push to block the ratification of the Electoral College vote, which would cement Biden as the next president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell broke ranks with Trump and said he’d vote to confirm Biden’s victory.

“We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of facts,” McConnell, a fierce longtime Republican supporter of Trump, said. "If this election was overturned by allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral.”