'Democracy Under Assault': Joe Biden Calls Capitol Violence 'Insurrection' as Senate Reconvenes
President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware on December 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday denounced the storming of the US Capitol as an "insurrection" and demanded President Donald Trump go on television to call an end to the violent "siege."
"At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault," the veteran Democrat said in Wilmington, after hundreds of Trump supporters protesting his election defeat swarmed the Capitol building and put the nation's lawmakers at risk.
"I call on President Trump to go on national television now to... demand an end to this siege," Biden said. "To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, the floor of the United States Senate... threatening the safety of duly elected officials? It's not a protest, it's insurrection."
Donald Trump's supporters stormed a session of Congress held Wednesday to certify Joe Biden's election win, triggering unprecedented chaos and violence at the heart of American democracy and accusations the president was attempting a coup.
Moments after an extraordinary rally by Trump seeking to overturn the election, a flag-waving mob broke down barricades outside the Capitol and swarmed inside, rampaging through offices and onto the usually solemn legislative floors.
One woman died in unclear circumstances after being shot inside the Capitol and others were injured, police said, with lawmakers evacuated and handed protective masks as police fired tear gas.
One Trump supporter in jeans and a baseball cap was pictured propping a leg up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk, where a threatening note had been left, as throngs of others climbed onto risers set up for Biden's inauguration on January 20, holding a banner that read: "We the people will bring DC to its knees/We have the power."
Trump soon afterward released a video in which he called on his supporters to leave but stood by his unfounded claims of election fraud. "We have to have peace. So go home. We love you -- you're very special," he said.