The U.S. Capitol locked down Wednesday with lawmakers inside as violent clashes broke out between supporters of President Donald Trump police.
Dozens of people breached security perimeters at the Capitol and lawmakers inside the House chamber were told to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the Rotunda. Lawmakers had been meeting to affirm Joe Biden’s victory.
The skirmishes occurred outside the building, in the very spot president-elect Biden will be inaugurated in just two weeks. Protesters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear.
Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back.
Pressure is mounting on President Donald Trump to condemn supporters who are violently clashing with law enforcement on Capitol Hill.
Among those urging Trump to act: his former communications director, Alyssa Farah, who tweeted that Trump should “Condemn this now.”
She says, “You are the only one they will listen to. For our country!”
Trump has so far offered a single tweet asking his supporters to “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
His former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tweeted: “The President’s tweet is not enough. He can stop this now and needs to do exactly that. Tell these folks to go home.”
His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, also addressed Trump supporters in a tweet, calling them the “patriots challenging the fraudulent election” and telling them that “POTUS wants you to EXPRESS YOUR OPINION PEACEFULLY.”
This is a developing story.