President Trump Promises ‘Orderly Transition’ on Jan. 20
WASHINGTON (AP) —
President Donald Trump now says there “will be an orderly transition on January 20th” after Congress concluded the electoral vote count certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and after a day of violence when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Trump says in a statement tweeted by his social media director 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.”
He adds: “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”
Trump’s account is currently locked by Twitter.
Trump has spent the last two months refusing to concede the election and making allegations of mass voter fraud that have been rejected by dozens of courts and Republican officials, including his former attorney general.
Vice President Mike Pence presided over the formal session that ended early Thursday morning tallying the electoral college vote.
Congress has formally validated Joe Biden’s presidential election victory on a day that saw a time-honored ceremony become a nightmare of unprecedented political terror.
The House and Senate certified the Democrat’s electoral college win early Thursday after a violent throng of pro-Trump rioters spent hours Wednesday running rampant through the Capitol. A woman was fatally shot, windows were bashed and the mob forced shaken lawmakers and aides to flee the building, shielded by Capitol Police.
The rampage began shortly after President Donald Trump repeated his claims of election fraud to thousands of rallying demonstrators he’d invited to Washington. Many then surged to the Capitol after he incited them to go there as lawmakers debated the electoral votes.
More than six hours after the violence erupted, lawmakers resumed their session.
Thirteen Republican senators and dozens of GOP representatives had planned to force debate and votes on perhaps six different states’ votes.
The assault on the Capitol made some Republicans squeamish about trying to overturn Biden’s win, and challenges were lodged only against Arizona and Pennsylvania. Both efforts lost overwhelmingly.
Biden defeated Trump by 306-232 electoral votes and will be inaugurated Jan. 20.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is defending his objection to the Electoral College results as “the right thing to do.”
The Texas senator condemned the violence that erupted as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an extraordinary attack over the election outcome.
Cruz led the first challenge to Joe Biden’s defeat of President Donald Trump by objecting to Arizona’s results. He sought to have Congress launch a commission to investigate the election. His effort was roundly defeated in the House and Senate.
Cruz said he was confident the country will have a “peaceful and orderly transition of power.” Biden is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20.
The House has joined the Senate in turning aside Republican objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote for President-elect Joe Biden.
Lawmakers in the House voted 282-138 against the objection as the counting of Electoral College votes continued into the early hours of Thursday morning. The Senate shut down the same objection 92-7 just after midnight, and unlike the House, declined to debate before voting.
After a long day dominated by pro-Trump rioters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, it was the second state for which a group of Republicans tried and failed to reverse the will of voters. Some GOP lawmakers have backed President Donald Trump’s bogus claims that the election was fraudulent.
Those objecting to Pennsylvania’s votes included 80 House Republicans and Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, who is considered a potential 2024 presidential contender.
A small group of House lawmakers came close to physically fighting early Thursday morning as the congressional count of electoral votes stretched into the wee hours and a Pennsylvania Democrat charged that Republicans had been telling “lies” about his state’s votes.
Rep. Morgan Griffiths, R-Va., objected after Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., said a breach of the Capitol by an angry mob earlier in the day was “inspired by lies, the same lies you are hearing in this room tonight.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot down the objection, but a few minutes later Republicans and Democrats streamed to the middle aisle, with around a dozen lawmakers getting close to each other and arguing. But the group quickly broke up when Pelosi called for order on the floor.
President Donald Trump has claimed there was widespread fraud in Pennsylvania and other states and Republicans have echoed those claims as they have challenged electoral votes.
The Senate has quickly killed Republican objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote for President-elect Joe Biden.
Senators voted 92-7 after midnight Eastern Time to derail the GOP attempt to overturn Pennsylvania’s support for the Democrat.
In a long day dominated by rioters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, it's the second state for which a group of Republicans tried and failed to reverse the election results. Some GOP lawmakers have backed President Donald Trump’s claims that the election was fraudulent.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he believes no other states’ votes will be challenged. That means Congress’ formal certification of Biden’s victory could finish quickly once the House votes on the Pennsylvania challenge.
The Senate rejected the effort to cancel Pennsylvania’s votes without any debate.
Those objecting to Pennsylvania’s votes included 80 House Republicans and Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, who is considered a potential 2024 presidential contender.
12:15 a.m. Thursday
Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri have objected to the counting of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, triggering up to two hours of debate in the House and Senate.
The objections come 11 hours after the congressional count to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory began, and after lawmakers had to evacuate both chambers for several hours to escape a mob that had violently breached the Capitol.
Hawley said last week that he would object to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, saying Congress should investigate voter fraud. President Donald Trump has said since his defeat that there was widespread fraud in the election.
Biden won Pennsylvania by just over 80,000 votes. Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump and his allies filed at least a half-dozen lawsuits challenging Biden’s win on various grounds, including that many or all of the state’s mail-in ballots were illegal.
The lawsuits failed as judge after judge found no violation of state law or constitutional rights, or no grounds to grant an immediate halt to certifying the election.
The House has voted overwhelmingly to reject an objection to President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Arizona, joining the Senate in upholding the results of the election there.
The objection failed 303-121 on Wednesday night, with only Republicans voting in support.
Earlier Wednesday, supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown of the lawmakers and staff inside. Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain his defeat to Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.
Now that Arizona is out of the way, Congress will reconvene as the joint session and make its way through the rest of the states that have objections.
Four people died as supporters of President Donald Trump violently occupied the U.S. Capitol.
Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said the dead on Wednesday included a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as three others who died in “medical emergencies.”
Police said both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hourslong occupation of the Capitol building before it was cleared Wednesday evening by law enforcement.
The woman was shot earlier Wednesday as the mob tried to break through a barricaded door in the Capitol where police were armed on the other side. She was hospitalized with a gunshot wound and later died.
D.C. police officials also say two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.
The Senate has overwhelmingly turned aside a challenge to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, guaranteeing the result will stand.
The objection to the results in Arizona -- spearheaded by Rep. Paul Gosar and Sen. Ted Cruz -- was rejected 93-6 on Wednesday night. All votes in favor came from Republicans, but after violent protesters mobbed the Capitol earlier Wednesday a number of GOP senators who had planned to support the objection reversed course.
The Republicans raised the objection based on claims pushed by President Donald Trump and others of issues with the vote in Arizona, which were repeatedly dismissed in Arizona’s courts and by the state’s election officials.
Sen. Lindsey Graham says a commission to examine the 2020 election is not a proper next step and affirmed that Joe Biden is the “legitimate president of the United States.”
Graham, a South Carolina Republican and longtime ally of President Donald Trump, called it a “uniquely bad idea to delay this election,” referencing the commission idea proposed by his fellow South Carolina Republican, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.
Graham says, “Count me out. Enough is enough.”
Earlier Wednesday, supporters of Trump breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown of the lawmakers and staff inside. Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.
Graham said that “if you’re a conservative,” the idea that Vice President Mike Pence could reverse the results of the election, as President Donald Trump had urged him to do, was “the most offensive concept in the world.”
Police have arrested 30 people for violating a curfew imposed in Washington, D.C., after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Officials say the 30 people were arrested Wednesday evening after being found on the streets after the 6 p.m.
The curfew had been imposed after scores of supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol, halting the constitutional process of voting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. They were later forcibly removed from the Capitol.
The Metropolitan Police Department said 15 other people had been arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday in various protest-related arrests on an array of charges, including weapons possession and assault.
Fire officials also took 13 people to area hospitals on Wednesday from protest-related injuries.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley says he is going forward with his objection to the Electoral College results in Pennsylvania despite the violent breach at the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.
The Missouri senator said he did not support violence but said the Senate should go forward with a legal process that includes his objections.
Hawley says his objections should be debated “peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets.” He says he hoped lawmakers would not brush his concerns aside because of the violence earlier Wednesday, including the death of a protester inside the Capitol.
Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is comparing violence at the U.S. Capitol to protests against racial injustice over the summer after the killing of George Floyd by police.
The U.S. Capitol was overrun by a mob supportive of President Donald Trump on Wednesday as Congress counted electoral votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Trump has said there was widespread fraud in the election to explain his defeat and encouraged his supporters to come to Washington.
McCarthy said, “Mobs don’t rule America. Laws rule America. It was true when our cities were burning this summer and it is true now.”
The comment got loud applause from Republicans. Democrats in the chamber sat silently.
Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, was killed in May after a white police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he said he couldn’t breathe.
McCarthy, an ally of Trump's, said Wednesday was the “saddest day” he’s ever had in Congress.
He said: “It is clear this Congress will not be the same after today.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election win will show the world it won’t back down.
Pelosi made her comments as the House reconvened after being shut down for hours Wednesday by unruly protesters. She said that every four years the ritual provides an example to the world of American democracy.
Pelosi says, “Despite the shameful actions of today, we will still do so, we will be part of a history that shows the world what America is made of.”
Pelosi, a Roman Catholic, noted that Wednesday is the feast of the Epiphany and prayed that the violence would be “an epiphany to heal” for the country.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is sending 1,000 members of the state’s National Guard to Washington, D.C., to help “the peaceful transition of presidential power."
Cuomo, a Democrat, said 1,000 troops would be sent for up to two weeks at the request of U.S. National Guard officials. It comes after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters rampaged through the U.S. Capitol.
Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday: “For 244 years, the cornerstone of our democracy has been the peaceful transfer of power, and New York stands ready to help ensure the will of the American people is carried out, safely and decisively.”
They will join law enforcement from Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey who are also coming to D.C.'s aid.
Multiple Republican senators have reversed course and now say they won’t object to congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Their change of heart came after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier Wednesday and interrupted their proceedings. One person was fatally shot.
Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Mike Braun of Indiana and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia all said in light of the violence they would stand down from planned objections to Biden’s win.
Lawmakers gathered to certify the Electoral College votes from each state were forced to evacuate after an angry mob of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol. Loeffler said that the “violence, the lawlessness, and siege of the halls of Congress” were a “direct attack” on the “sanctity of the American democratic process.”
All three had previously signed on to Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud to explain his defeat. Loeffler has just days left in her term. She lost her Senate race to Democrat Raphael Warnock earlier Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Congress “will not be deterred” in confirming the results of the presidential election hours after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The Republican leader reopened the Senate late Wednesday vowing to finish confirming the Electoral College for President-elect Joe Biden. It was interrupted earlier in the way when rioters breached the security perimeter and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. One person was fatally shot.
McConnell says demonstrators “tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed.”
McConnell plans to keep the Senate in session Wednesday to finish confirming the results.
Trump has repeatedly told his supporters that the November election was stolen from him. He reiterated the claim in a video filmed as his demonstrators were storming the Capitol.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says President Donald Trump “bears a great deal of the blame” after a mob loyal to him stormed the U.S. Capitol.
As the Senate reconvened to count electoral votes that will confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s win, Schumer said that Jan. 6, 2021, will “live forever in infamy” and will be a stain on the democracy.
Schumer said the events “did not happen spontaneously.”
He said Wednesday: “The president, who promoted conspiracy theories that motivated these thugs, the president, who exhorted them to come to our nation’s capital, egged them on.”
Trump has claimed that there was widespread fraud in the election to explain his defeat.
Schumer says the protesters should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Former President Barack Obama says history will rightly remember the violence at the Capitol as a moment of great dishonor and shame for the nation.
Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power.
Obama say the violence was “incited by a sitting president” who baselessly lied about the outcome of the presidential election. He has convinced his supporters that he lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden only because Democrats cheated.
Obama says it should not have come as a surprise, and that for two months “a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth.”
He says “their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo.”
The Senate has resumed debating the Republican challenge against Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, more than six hours after mobs attacked the Capitol and forced lawmakers to flee.
Scores of Republican representatives and 13 GOP senators had planned to object Wednesday to the electoral votes of perhaps six states that backed Biden. It was unclear whether those objections would continue in light of the day’s violent events.
President Donald Trump has insisted that the election was marred by fraud and that he actually won. He reiterated those claims in remarks to thousands of protesters outside the White House early Wednesday and goaded them to march to the Capitol, which many of them did.
The mayhem had forced the House and Senate to abruptly end the day’s debates and flee to safety under the protection of police. And it prompted bipartisan outrage as many lawmakers blamed Trump for fostering the violence.
Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff and press secretary for first lady Melania Trump, has resigned following violent protests at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Grisham says in a statement Wednesday that it was an “honor” to serve the country in the White House and be part of he first lady’s “mission” to help children.
Grisham was one of Trump’s longest serving aides, having joined the campaign in 2015. She served as the White House press secretary and never held a press briefing.
Wednesday’s violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters sparked renewed conversations inside the White House about mass resignations by mid-level aides who are responsible for operations of the office of the president.
Two people familiar with the conversations said the aides were torn between fears of what more would happen if they left and a desire to register their disgust with their boss. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.
— AP writer Zeke Miller
The Republican National Committee says it strongly condemns the violence at the Capitol, adding that the violent scenes “do not represent acts of patriotism, but an attack on our country and its founding principles.”
The RNC is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform. Its statement condemning the violence came hours after Republican President Donald Trump complained that the election was stripped away “from great patriots.” He went on to tell them to “go home with love & in peace.”
The group’s communications director, Michael Ahrens, says, “What happened today was domestic terrorism.”
He says to see the U.S. flag used “in the name of unfounded conspiracy theories is a disgrace to the nation, and every decent American should be disgusted by it.”
Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over him, citing false claims of voter fraud. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people.”
Former President Bill Clinton says the attack on the U.S. Capitol was fueled over four years of “poison politics” and lit by President Donald Trump.
Clinton said in a statement Wednesday night that the riot at the Capitol resulted from a combination of deliberate disinformation that created distrust in the system and pit Americans against one another.
He wrote, “The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost.”
His wife, Hillary Clinton, lost a bitter election to Trump in 2016 and conceded to him immediately. Trump has refused to accept his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden in November and is trying to cast him as an illegitimate president.
Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s win. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”
A West Virginia lawmaker took video of himself and other supporters of President Donald Trump rushing into the U.S. Capitol after they breached the security perimeter.
In the video by Republican Del. Derrick Evans, later deleted from his social media page, he is shown wearing a helmet and clamoring at the door to breach the building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
“We’re in! Keep it moving, baby!” he said in a packed doorway amid Trump followers holding flags and complaining of being pepper sprayed. Once inside, Evans could be seen on video milling around the Capitol Rotunda, where historical paintings depict the republic’s founding, and yelled, “No vandalizing!”
State House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw said Evans will need to “answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.”
He said he has not spoken to Evans yet about his involvement.
The delegate from Wayne County said in a statement later on Facebook that he was heading back to West Virginia and “was simply there as an independent member of the media to film history.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will resume the Electoral College proceedings once the Capitol is cleared of pro-Donald Trump protesters and safe for use.
Pelosi said she made the decision Wednesday in consultation with the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the vice president, who will preside.
She noted the day would always be “part of history,” but now it would be “as such a shameful picture of our country was put out into the world.”
Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”
Trump supporters breached the Capitol building and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. Trump has repeatedly told his supporters that the November election was stolen from him, even though that is not true.