Trump resists asking backers to disperse after storming Capitol

The president later released a video asking his supporters to 'go home in peace'

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President Donald Trump encouraged supporters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday in protest of his reelection defeat to “remain peaceful,” but he did not initially call for them to disperse.

The seat of democracy descended into chaos when protestors overwhelmed police and bulled their way into the Capitol, forcing a delay of the joint session of Congress where lawmakers were counting electoral votes that will affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s White House victory two weeks before Inauguration Day.

Read More: Chaos ensues as Trump supporters storm Capitol, thwart Biden confirmation

Trump offered only a muted response to the violence as loyalists brandishing his paraphernalia clashed with police, occupied the Capitol and even stormed the Senate chamber.

Under growing pressure from allies to condemn the violence, Trump tweeted, “No violence!” adding: “Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.”

(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

The commander in chief did not initially ask supporters to vacate the area as the unrest continued, but later released a video on Twitter where he called for them to “go home in peace.”

At a rally earlier, Trump had encouraged supporters to march on the Capitol and suggested at one point that he would join them on Capitol Hill. In his remarks, he used incendiary language with violent undertones.

Trump had urged his supporters to “get rid of the weak Congress people” — presumably through primary challenges. He said “get the weak ones get out. This is the time for strength.”

Republican lawmakers pleaded with Trump to do more to stop the violence. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California said he told the president to “calm individuals down.”

“I’ve already talked to the president,” MCarthy told Fox News. “I called him. I think we need to make a statement, make sure that we can calm individuals down.”

Trump Supporters Hold "Stop The Steal" Rally In DC Amid Ratification Of Presidential Election
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

A Senate ally, Republican Marco Rubio of Florida, appealed directly to the White House: “Mr. President @realDonaldTrump the men & women of law enforcement are under assault. It is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down.”

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., posted a video message urging Trump to “call it off.”

“This is Banana Republic crap that we’re watching right now,” said Gallagher, who had spoken out against objections from fellow Republicans to certifying the Electoral College vote that Biden won.

Read More: White House, Virginia governor say National Guard going to Capitol

Vice President Mike Pence, who was ushered out of the Senate chamber to a secure location as protesters breached the building, tweeted for protesters to disperse.

“The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now,” he said. “Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.”

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