US President Donald Trump told rioters at the Capitol building Wednesday afternoon in a stark video message that even though the election “was stolen” nevertheless, it was time to “go home now, we have to have peace, we have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.” Twitter blocked users from replying, retweeting or liking the anti-violence video “due to a risk of violence.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
The message came following a harrowing couple of hours in which thousands of protesters smashed windows to climb into the Capital building. Efforts by police to spray mace and pepper spray at the mob had little effect.
Police evacuated two buildings on the Hill — one of which was the Cannon Building — out of concerns for the safety of those inside. The Capitol Building itself was placed on lockdown.
Tweets by Vice President Mike Pence, writing “The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now,” were also ineffective, as was the comment “Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Gunshots were heard in the building as well: shortly thereafter, an unidentified woman was being rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition after being shot on the grounds of the Capitol complex. According to CNN, the woman was shot in the chest. She had been among the protesters supporting Trump, Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas told an interviewer on C-Span.
Tweets by the president urging protesters to “remember we are the ‘law and order’ party!” were likewise ignored; the president finally directed the National Guard to be deployed along with other federal protective services; police and SWAT teams also converged on the Capitol.
At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services.
We reiterate President Trump’s call against violence and to remain peaceful.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) January 6, 2021
While all this was going on, a pipe bomb was found at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee in Washington. The explosive was successfully defused by the bomb squad.