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Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton denounced the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

What they're saying: Carter said in a statement he was "troubled by the violence," calling it a "national tragedy" that "is not who we are as a nation."

"I know that the the people can unite to walk back from the precipice to peacefully uphold the laws of our nation, and we must. We join our fellow citizens in praying for a peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries."
— Excerpt from Carter's statement

Bush condemned the "reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election" as he slammed the "sickening and heartbreaking sight" of rioters storming the U.S. Capitol.

"This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic," Bush said in a statement.

  • "The violent assault on the Capitol —and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress — was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes. Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation."

Clinton said in a statement that "we faced an unprecedented assault on our Capitol, our Constitution, and our country."

  • He said the assault was "fueled by more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another."
  • Clinton added "the match was lit" by President Trump and his most ardent enablers, including in Congress, to overturn the results in an election he lost."

Obama didn't hold back in who was to blame in his statement on the insurrection, noting history would "rightly remember" that it was "incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Carter, Clinton and Obama's comments.

Go deeper

Clyburn: Assault had big effect on Black Americans

Rep. James Clyburn. Photo: Cheriss May/Getty Images

Last week's assault on the Capitol felt personal to Black Americans, who found the violence similar to what they experienced during the civil rights riots of the 1960s, Rep. James Clyburn told Axios.

Why it matters: Clyburn said the pitched assault by President Trump's supporters, some of whom have ties to white supremacist movements, has prompted an important question for him and many African Americans: "Are we getting ready to repeat some history that we thought we'd successfully gotten behind us?"

GOP Rep. Rice on decision to vote for impeachment: "This utter failure is inexcusable"

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) says that while he has "backed [President Trump] through thick and thin," he voted in favor of impeaching Trump on Wednesday because "this utter failure is inexcusable," per a statement released on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Rice is a prolific supporter of Trump's and turned heads by joining nine Republicans in voting to impeach the president for "incitement of insurrection." Rice noted that one week after the Capitol attacks "the President has not addressed the nation to ask for calm. He has not visited the injured and grieving. He has not offered condolences."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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