Nancy Pelosi's Office Occupied by Pro-Trump Rioters amid Chaos at U.S. Capitol
The rioters, who shattered windows to breach the building and storm the Senate chamber, vandalized Pelosi's suite of office by flipping over tables and pulling photos off the walls, according to The New York Times.
In a photo captured by AFP photographer Saul Loeb, one Trump supporter can be seen sitting behind a desk inside Pelosi's office with his feet on the table.
Another image published by SF Gate showed a note left on a desk inside the office with the message "WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN" written in red ink. The outlet also published a photo of a man wearing a Trump hat, waving to the camera while carrying a lectern with the House Speaker logo on it.
Pelosi released a joint statement with Sen. Chuck Schumer on Wednesday amid the protest, saying, "We are calling on President Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol grounds immediately."
Following waves of condemnation over the riots from politicians, including Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump addressed the rioters in a pretaped speech that urged them to "go home" but continued to push unfounded claims of election fraud. (The video has been removed or restricted from social channels including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, due to "risk of violence.")
"I know your pain. I know you’re hurt," he said in a video he shared to Twitter. "But ... we have to have peace, so go home. We love you. You're very special. You've seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel."
Thousands of Trump backers had gathered in Washington, D.C., to show their support for the president amid his baseless claims of election fraud following his November loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
After the president addressed them at a rally Wednesday morning, declaring "we will never concede," his supporters eventually moved from the Mall to the Capitol, with scores of them storming the building in the afternoon.
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The rioters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol building just after 1:00 p.m., causing members of Congress to be evacuated.
Video footage taken at the scene showed people carrying "Trump 2020" and "Don't Tread on Me" flags clashing with police, many in full riot gear, near the Capitol building.
The chaotic and unprecedented situation remains ongoing, with multiple reports of shots fired inside the building.