As DC prepares for Biden's inauguration, Trump tweets he will not be in attendance
WASHINGTON — Despite a series of challenges and outspoken protests that erupted into mob violence, Democrat Joe Biden, will be sworn into office as the 46th President of the United States of America on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.
But on Friday morning, current U.S. President, Donald Trump tweeted that he will be not be in attendance.
To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
The tweet was posted mere hours after Mr. Trump released an updated video on social media, condemning the Wednesday afternoon protests at the U.S. Capitol. In the video (available to view below) he promised a smooth transition of power.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
Congress confirmed Biden as the presidential election winner early Thursday after a violent mob claiming loyalty to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn America’s presidential election, according to The Associated Press.
Lawmakers were resolved to complete the Electoral College tally in a display to the country, and the world, of the nation’s enduring commitment to uphold the will of the voters and the peaceful transfer of power. They pushed through the night with tensions high and the nation’s capital on alert.
Before dawn Thursday, lawmakers finished their work, confirming Biden won the election.
Vice President Mike Pence, presiding over the joint session, announced the tally, 306-232.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement posted to Twitter by an aide.
Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Electoral Certification:— Dan Scavino?????? (@DanScavino) January 7, 2021
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our...
Hours after this statement was issued on Thursday morning, Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, took to social media to announce that due to Wednesday's events, he and his team decided to extends Trump's Facebook, Instagram lockout indefinitely.
The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining...Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, January 7, 2021
The Capitol was under siege Wednesday, as the nation’s elected representatives scrambled to crouch under desks and don gas masks while police futilely tried to barricade the building, one of the most jarring scenes ever to unfold in a seat of American political power. A woman who has been identified as Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed inside the Capitol, and Washington’s mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence.
Together, the protests and the GOP election objections amounted to an almost unthinkable challenge to American democracy and exposed the depths of the divisions that have coursed through the country in recent years.
Congress reconvened in the evening, with lawmakers decrying the protests that defaced the Capitol and vowing to finish confirming the Electoral College vote for Biden’s election, even if it took all night.
Pence reopened the Senate and directly addressed the demonstrators: “You did not win.”
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the “failed insurrection” underscored lawmakers’ duty to finish the count. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would show the world “what America is made of” with the outcome.
The president gave his supporters a boost into action Wednesday morning at a rally outside the White House, where he urged them to march to the Capitol. He spent much of the afternoon in his private dining room off the Oval Office watching scenes of the violence on television. At the urging of his staff, he reluctantly issued a pair of tweets and a taped video telling his supporters it was time to “go home in peace” — yet he still said he backed their cause.
Hours later, Twitter for the first time time locked Trump’s account, demanded that he remove tweets excusing violence and threatened “permanent suspension.”
A somber President-elect Biden, two weeks away from being inaugurated, said American democracy was “under unprecedented assault, ” a sentiment echoed by many in Congress, including some Republicans. Former President George W. Bush said he watched the events in “disbelief and dismay.”
The domed Capitol building has for centuries been the scene of protests and occasional violence. But Wednesday’s events were particularly astounding both because they unfolded at least initially with the implicit blessing of the president and because of the underlying goal of overturning the results of a free and fair presidential election.
Tensions were already running high when lawmakers gathered early Wednesday afternoon for the constitutionally mandated counting of the Electoral College results, in which Biden defeated Trump, 306-232. Despite pleas from McConnell, more than 150 GOP lawmakers planned to support objections to some of the results, though lacking evidence of fraud or wrongdoing in the election.
Trump spent the lead-up to the proceedings publicly hectoring Pence, who had a largely ceremonial role, to aid the effort to throw out the results. He tweeted, “Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!”
But Pence, in a statement shortly before presiding, defied Trump, saying he could not claim “unilateral authority” to reject the electoral votes that make Biden president.
In the aftermath of the siege, several Republicans announced they would drop their objections to the election, including Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who lost her bid for reelection Tuesday.
Earlier, protesters had fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls, many without masks during the COVID-19 crisis. Lawmakers were told to duck under their seats for cover and put on gas masks after tear gas was used in the Capitol Rotunda. Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices.
Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., told reporters he was in the House chamber when rioters began storming it. Security officers “made us all get down, you could see that they were fending off some sort of assault.”
He said they had a piece of furniture up against the door. “And they had guns pulled,” Peters said. Glass panes to a House door were shattered.
The woman who was killed was part of a crowd that was breaking down the doors to a barricaded room where armed officers stood on the other side, police said. She was shot in the chest by Capitol Police and taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. City police said three other people died from medical emergencies during the long protest on and around the Capitol grounds.
Staff members grabbed boxes of Electoral College votes as the evacuation took place. Otherwise, said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., the ballots likely would have been destroyed by the protesters.
The mob’s storming of Congress prompted outrage, mostly from Democrats but from Republicans as well, as lawmakers accused Trump of fomenting the violence with his relentless falsehoods about election fraud.
“Count me out,” said Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “Enough is enough.”
Several suggested that Trump be prosecuted for a crime or even removed under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which seemed unlikely two weeks from when his term expires.
“I think Donald Trump probably should be brought up on treason for something like this,” Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., told reporters. “This is how a coup is started. And this is how democracy dies.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who has at times clashed with Trump, issued a statement saying: “Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”
Despite Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud, election officials and his own former attorney general have said there were no problems on a scale that would change the outcome. All the states have certified their results as fair and accurate, by Republican and Democratic officials alike.
Punctuating their resolve, both the House and Senate soundly rejected an objection to election results from Arizona, which had been raised by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and another from Pennsylvania brought by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa. Still, most House Republicans supported the objections. Other objections to results from Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin fizzled.
The Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol. Dozens of people were arrested.
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