US lawmakers decried an attempted “coup” against the US government Wednesday as supporters of President Donald Trump smashed into the US Congress and shut down legislative sessions.
“A mob storming the US Capitol to overturn an election. A coup in progress,” said Democratic Representative Val Demings in a tweet.
“This is anarchy. This is an attempted coup. And it’s happening in America because of lawless lawmakers,” added another Democratic congressman, Seth Moulton.
Others also characterizing the assault as a coup attempt blamed Trump for inciting the protesters, who halted the confirmation by Congress of Joe Biden as the winner of the November 3 election.
“The president is inciting domestic terrorism,” said Democratic Representative Mark Pocan.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger told CNN: “This is despicable… Anywhere else around the world, we would call this a coup attempt. That’s what I think it is.”
He added: “But have no fear, the guardrails of democracy and the constitution will hold. And we will succeed. When this is over, we will look back and realize where this cancer has come from, and go after it.”
Trump called for the protesters to remain “peaceful” and listen to law enforcement, though he stopped short of condemning them or calling on them to leave the premises if the US Congress.
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement,” Trump said on Twitter more than an hour after protesters breached the security cordon. “Stay peaceful!”
On Trump’s call on Twitter for peaceful behavior, Kinzinger said it was not enough. “That’s cowardice. Cowardice is trying to just say ‘I want you to be peaceful.’ He needs to stand up and say ‘I lost the election. Let the count go ahead. The conspiracies I’ve been spewing out are false. Period.”
A Senate ally of the president, Republican Marco Rubio of Florida, appealed directly to the White House: “Mr. President… the men & women of law enforcement are under assault. It is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down.”
GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher posted a video message urging Trump to “call it off.”
“This is Banana Republic crap that we’re watching right now,” said Gallagher, who had spoken out against objections from fellow Republicans to certifying the Electoral College vote that Biden won.
— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@RepGallagher) January 6, 2021