Riotous mob incited by President Trump widely condemned

A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump

Wednesday, January 6 will go down in infamy as the nation’s Capitol was stormed by an angry mob, disenfranchised over what they felt was an election stolen from President Donald Trump.

President-elect Joe Biden and former President George W. Bush are among those calling the day’s events, which have been widely condemned, an insurrection.  

The ceremonial count of Electoral College votes was violently interrupted by pro-Trump supporters who were directly incited moments earlier by the president himself, who spoke at a rally. 

"We're going to walk down to the Capitol. And we're gonna cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we're probably not going to be cheering, so much for some of them, because you'll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong," Trump said at the rally. He indicated the march would be "peaceful and patriotic." 

Reporters and media contemplated their shock in real time as the U.S. Capitol would soon be infiltrated with relative ease, despite warnings on social media well ahead of time, that Trump’s riotous supporters would descend upon Washington. No one really knew how that would play out, but the argument that law enforcement was ill prepared is valid. 

Lawmakers were escorted to safety and huddled in various quarters as MAGA marauders wandered the halls, posed for photos in the chamber, made off with items like podiums and even managed to enter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. In a perverse display of entitlement, one of them kicked up his feet as he sat at her desk. 

The reaction has been widespread on social media. Much of it focused on Congress members checking in to let their constituents know they were safe after barricading for about five hours. Other lawmakers simply shared how they felt about the situation. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D- Calif.) did not mince words as she directly blamed Trump for what she called a "dark day" that included shots being fired in the Capitol. A woman who was carried out of the building was later confirmed dead

"Donald Trump is responsible for this madness. He told supporters he would march with them to the Capitol, then abandoned his unruly mob and escaped to the White House," Feinstein said. "Mr. President. Stop working to destroy our democracy." 

By 8 p.m., a determined Congress reconvened to resume the vote count. It was unclear if the 13 Republican senators planned to continue with their objections to Joe Biden’s election.

In a scathing critique, Feinstein said the actions of those senators planning objections are only doing it for their own political gain and foster "serious division."

As of this writing, outgoing U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) had a change of heart based on the day’s events. She decided not to object. Sen. Steve Daines and Sen. Mike Braun of Montana and Indiana respectively, also shifted and said they would not object. 

Former President Barack Obama weighed in to say the "violent crescendo" at the Capitol came to fruition because of the "fantasy narrative" perpetrated in part by Republicans and their media ecosystem. 

He said Republican leaders can, "continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires. Or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America."

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D- Calif.) expressed her gratitude for being whisked away to safety during what she called a "stain on America" and a "violent coup attempt." 

"Donald Trump has spent months enraging his supporters with the lie that the election was stolen from them, despite the fact that every one of his wild allegations is demonstrably false," Lee's statement read. 

By Wednesday evening, Facebook and Twitter removed a video post from the president's social media accounts where he asked his supporters to go home, but also called his violent supporters "very special," said he loved them, and repeated his false statements regarding the election. 

Twitter has locked the president's account for 12 hours and are considering permanent suspension if there are further violations of their rules. 

But the damage was already done.

Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-New York) shared photos of her vantage point during the ordeal. She said "protesters were right outside the door chanting ‘USA, USA’ as she hid. 

Contra Costa Republican Party Chairman Matt Shupe issued a statement that read in part, "You cannot say you support law and order in one breath and then act this way the next." He added that he was "deeply embarrassed" for the nation. 

Despite the disturbing scenes that unfolded on Capitol Hill, many were sure to include the sentiment that in the end, democracy will prevail.

This story was reported from San Francisco.