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US legislators react to the pro-Trump mob breaking into the Capitol

A U.S. Capitol police officer shoots pepper spray at a protestor attempting to enter the Capitol building during a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 election results on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021.
Reuters/Kevin Dietsch
  • Lila MacLellan
By Lila MacLellan

Quartz at Work senior reporter


Capitol Hill became a scene of chaos and terror on Jan. 6 as supporters of US president Donald Trump stormed Congress in an attempt to stop the certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

After tearing down layers of fencing, the demonstrators, many with backpacks and potentially armed, made their way inside the building. Legislators inside ripped gas masks from the bottoms of their seats as police officers began escorting them to a room in the building’s basement.

Many lawmakers who were caught in the violence or working nearby tweeted about what they were seeing, in some cases posting videos, with members of both parties calling for an end to the violence.

Trump also tweeted: “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

He later followed with a slightly more forceful message:

As he was being ushered to a safe place, senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, waved over a reporter to say: “This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection.”

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