Jan 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden calls on Trump to condemn mob violence at U.S. Capitol

President-elect Joe Biden called on President Trump to demand his backers end their siege on the Capitol on national television, saying the violence "borders on sedition and it must end now."

Driving the news: “President Trump, step up,” Biden said, speaking a little after 4p ET, after a mob of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol to try to block lawmakers’ certification of Biden’s Electoral College win.

Why it matters: Biden stepped into the leadership vacuum left by President Trump, seeking to bring the nation together and bring an end to protests that threaten Democracy.

  • Biden planned to deliver remarks about the economy around 2:30pm. Instead he delayed his remarks and shifted gears to address the developing chaos.
  • "The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America. Do not represent who we are," Biden said. "What we're seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It's disorder. It's chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end."

The other side: A White House official told Axios' Jonathan Swan that President Trump had been ranting about Vice President Pence's refusal to block certification of the Electoral College — which Pence has no constitutional authority to do — and was reluctant to issue a more forceful condemnation of his supporters.

  • Shortly after Biden's address, Trump released a one-minute video on Twitter reiterating his false claims that the election was "stolen," but telling his supporters that "we have to have peace."
  • "Go home. We love you. You're special," he added.
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