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President-elect Joe Biden slammed pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday, overwhelming police and forcing lawmakers to evacuate.
“To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices…threatening the safety of duly elected officials—it’s not protest, it’s insurrection,” Biden said. “Like so many other Americans, I am genuinely shocked and saddened that our nation, so long the beacon of hope and light for democracy, has come to such a dark moment.”
Biden singled out the rioters as “extremists” who were not representative of Americans in general.
“Let me be very clear: 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, and borders on sedition.”
President Trump held a rally for tens of thousands of supporters outside the White House on Wednesday, during which he accused Vice President Mike Pence of failing to prevent the Congressional certification of Biden’s win. Following the rally, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, forcing a stop to the certification process. Several police officers were reportedly injured, and one woman was evacuated from the Capitol after being shot.
At the end of his address, Biden called for unity following the riots.
“For nearly two and a half centuries, we the people, in search of a more perfect union, have kept our eyes on that common good,” Biden said. “America is so much better than what we’re seeing today.”