Joe Biden called on Donald Trump to go on national television and “demand an end to this siege” after mobs of the president’s supporters stormed Capitol Hill and forced the evacuation of Congress.
“At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we have seen in modern times, an assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself,” Mr Biden, the president-elect, said in a live speech from Wilmington, Delaware on Wednesday afternoon.
Both chambers of Congress had gathered at the US Capitol earlier in the day to count and certify the electoral college votes that formally selected Mr Biden as the 46th US president.
But angry groups of protesters pushed past police and stormed the building, sweeping through the hallways of Congress and prompting Capitol police to evacuate lawmakers, staffers and reporters.
“The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect the true America, do not represent who we are,” Mr Biden said. “This is not dissent, it is disorder, it is chaos, it borders on sedition, and it must end now.”
The president-elect said Mr Trump should address the nation and “fulfil his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege”.
“It is not protest. It is insurrection,” he added.
Minutes later Mr Trump — who earlier on Wednesday addressed supporters on the Washington mall — posted a pre-recorded video to Twitter, in which he repeated baseless claims that the election was stolen while urging agitators to “go home”.
“I know your pain. I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us,” Mr Trump said, adding that he won the presidential contest in a “landslide” but that the vote count was “fraudulent”.
“We have to have peace. So go home, we love you, you are very special,” Mr Trump said. “I know how you feel, but go home and go home in peace.”
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