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How Biden And Trump Reacted To Pro-Trump Extremists Breaching The U.S. Capitol

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

At this hour, lawmakers have resumed debate on the Electoral College results. Traditionally, that's been a pretty perfunctory affair, done in less than an hour. But today it was interrupted in shocking fashion by a mob of violent pro-Trump extremists who stormed the Capitol building and forced lawmakers into lockdown. At least one person was shot and killed today, according to D.C. police. President Trump has done little to calm things. As his supporters clashed with police and paraded through the Capitol, the president posted a video where he asked his followers to go home. But he also repeated his false claims about the election that has inflamed so many today and for the last two months.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: This was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace, so go home. We love you. You're very special. You've seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.

CHANG: Now, both Twitter and Facebook have taken down that video. The president tried to double down on that message with a new tweet about two hours ago. That tweet read, quote, "these are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long," end quote. Twitter has removed that message entirely as well and has banned the president from posting any new message for the next 12 hours. The actual winner of November's election, President-elect Biden, struck a vastly different tone. Speaking to the nation this afternoon, he urged calm and criticized the rhetoric coming from President Trump.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOE BIDEN: But today's reminder - a painful one that democracy is fragile. And to preserve it requires people of goodwill, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to the pursuit of power or the personal interest pursuits of their own selfish interest at any cost but of the common good.

CHANG: And the nation's only living former Republican President George W. Bush also released a statement tonight calling today's events, quote, "a sickening and heartbreaking sight" and adding, "this is how election results are disputed in a banana republic not our democratic republic." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.