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Opinion: Leaders respond to Wednesday's U.S. Capitol riots

Opinion: Leaders respond to Wednesday's U.S. Capitol riots

  • Updated

Correction: This column originally incorrectly quote U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin. The incorrect quote was been replace. 

Here’s a look at some of the comments of our nation’s leaders after Wednesday’s rioting at the U.S. Capitol.

President Donald Trump (Wednesday evening) via Twitter:

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”

President Donald Trump (Thursday morning) via Twitter account of social media aide Dan Scavino:

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”

President-elect Joe Biden:

“… The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are. What we’re seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not the dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition, and it must end now. …

“I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities. There’s never been anything we can’t do, when we do it together. This God-awful display today, is bringing it home to every Republican and Democrat and independent in the nation, that we must step up. …”

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah:

“We gather today due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States.

“Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy.

“…The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth. That is the burden, and the duty, of leadership. The truth is that President-elect Biden won this election. President Trump lost....”

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse,R-Nebraska:

“...The center of America is not Washington, DC. The center of America is the neighborhoods where 330 million Americans are raising their kids and trying to put food on the table and trying to love their neighbor. … The places where they coach little league, the places where they invite people to synagogue or church.

“Sometimes the big things we do together are governmental, like kicking Hitler’s ass or like going to the moon. Sometimes there is governmental stuff, but the heart of America is about places where moms and dads are raising kids, and we’re supposed to serve them by maintaining order and by rejecting violence.

“You can’t do big things like that if you hate your neighbors. You can’t do big things together as Americans if you think other Americans are the enemy.”

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, in joint statement with U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana:

“Today is a sad day for our country. The destruction and violence at our nation’s Capitol is an assault on democracy. We thank the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police for working to restore peace. The actions at the Capitol are indefensible and not supported by the vast majority of Trump supporters. We must rise above the violence.

“We must, and we will, have a peaceful and orderly transition of power. The violent actions of these rioters severely damages efforts to restore confidence in our elections. We will continue our calls to examine election integrity through all legal and peaceful means. …”

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina:

“… Other people have objected. I just think it’s a uniquely bad idea to delay this election. Trump and I, we’ve had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it. From my point of view, he’s been a consequential president, but today, first thing you’ll see. All I can say is a count me out. Enough is enough. …”

U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Tulsa:

“…Our Capitol building has been a symbol of American freedoms and democracy around the world, yet it was invaded by law breakers seeking to undermine our republican form of government and erode those ideals. There is no excuse for the violent actions witnessed in the halls of Congress. …

“Despite the disruptive and dangerous acts of criminal rioters, I will not back down. The actions of those bad actors do not change the facts and questions surrounding the 2020 presidential election. I have a duty to stand firm with the millions of Americans across the country who share deep and legitimate concerns about the integrity of our election system and the unconstitutional changes to the election laws in certain states during the presidential election.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore:

“I am outraged by the lawless protests that unfolded at the United States Capitol today. While Americans have the right to passionately voice their views and peacefully dissent in protest, I strongly condemn the perpetrators of this destructive and violent activity. … This is not the American way.”

U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, on Twitter Wednesday evening:

“I 100% support peaceful protest but this is not it. What is happening at the Capitol right now is unacceptable and it has to stop immediately.”

U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, on Thursday:

“Some people are saying the president is responsible. Absolutely not. At the same time we’re all responsible for our actions.”

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, on Twitter:

“My staff and I are safe inside the Capitol Complex. I thank the Capitol Police who are risking their safety to protect my colleagues and our staff. I unequivocally condemn the violence and riots seen today in and around the Capitol, and I pray for the restoration of peace.”

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City:

“What happened inside our nation’s Capitol yesterday was not a reflection of who we are as a country. Peaceful protests are the foundation of this nation, but yesterday’s acts were far from a peaceful demonstration. I do not condone what these rioters have done, and I hope to see them prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

“Many have questioned my decision to support challenging states’ electoral college votes. Let me be clear — my vote represented my desire to ensure the security of elections across the country, not to overturn an election. …

“I am incredibly thankful for the U.S. Capitol Police and other coordinated law enforcement for their heroic efforts to ensure the safety of me and my staff. We are shaken but not deterred in our duty to continue the work for the people of the 5th District.”

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