Joe Biden condemned violence and rioting after a pro-Trump crowd stormed the Capitol on Wednesday in an apparent bid to stop the Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote for Biden.
Biden made a short address on Wednesday afternoon, altering his planned remarks on the economy to address the violence and riots that had broken out in Washington, D.C., amid President Trump’s “Save America” protest of the Electoral College certification. During his remarks, Biden called on Trump to immediately deliver an address on national television to “defend the Constitution.”
“At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” Biden said, referring to the riots on Capitol Hill. He later added: “I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”
“It’s not protest. It’s insurrection,” Biden added. “This god-awful display today is bringing home to every Republican and Democrat and Independent in the nation that we must step up.”
As Biden began to exit the stage after his short address, reporters yelled questions, asking if the former vice president was concerned for his safety or the inauguration on Jan. 20.
“I am not concerned about my safety, security, or the inauguration. I am not concerned. The American people are going to stand up, stand up now. Enough is enough is enough,” Biden answered before walking off the stage.
At about the same time that Biden was giving his address, Trump released a video on Twitter of himself addressing the violence in the nation’s capital. Trump reiterated claims that the election was “stolen from us” but said that the rioters and protesters “have to go home now.”
“I know your pain. I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have 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,” the president said. “It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
The president’s campaign and his allies have made wide-ranging allegations of election fraud and filed numerous lawsuits across a handful of battleground states challenging the results of the election. To date, none of the lawsuits have had a meaningful impact on the election results in any state, and many of the lawsuits have been dismissed by judges appointed by Republicans and Democrats.
Trump first called for the rioters to “stay peaceful” in two messages over Twitter.
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” the president said.
“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” the president said in a follow-up message.