ByPatrick Phillips|January 6, 2021 at 4:02 PM EST - Updated January 6 at 7:17 PM
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and other elected officials weighed in Wednesday after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol where Congress was expected to affirm the Electoral College vote.
Capitol Policeplaced the building on lockdown when protests turned violent. At least one person who had been shot inside the U.S. Capitol during the melee reportedly died late Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s hard to believe what we are seeing at our beloved Capitol,” McMaster said in a tweet. “We should be alarmed, but also deeply saddened. Protest is honored, but violence cannot be tolerated. Those who believe in America should leave the building immediately. The rule of law must prevail.”
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson released a statement:
As I watch events unfold at the U.S. Capitol, I am deeply saddened. Peaceful protests and the expression of political beliefs are fundamentally American. However, violence undermines the intended cause of any protest and should never be tolerated. We must come together as a nation, not fracture in lawlessness.
U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, who earlier said she had to evacuate from her office as protests turned violent at the Capitol complex, later called on President Donald Trump to act.
“This isn’t a protest. It’s anarchy,” she said. “I thought we were the party of law and order.”
Biden: Violence an ‘unprecedented assault’
President-elect Joe Biden called the violent protests on the U.S. Capitol “an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people’s business.”
Biden’s condemnation came after violent protesters breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, forcing a delay in the constitutional process to affirm the president-elect’s victory in the November election. Biden addressed the violent protests as authorities struggled to take control of a chaotic situation at the Capitol that led to the evacuation of lawmakers.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham reacted to Biden’s comments, saying he “couldn’t agree more with President-elect Biden’s statement.”
“Time to retake the Capitol, end the violence and stop the madness. Time to move forward in governing our nation,” he said. “Our differences are real but the love of our nation overwhelms our differences.”
Biden also demanded President Donald Trump to immediately make a televised address calling on his supporters to cease the violence that he described as an “unprecedented assault’ as pro-Trump protestors violently occupy U.S. Capitol.
A short time later,Trump released a video on social mediain which he repeated claims that the election had been stolen, but urged his supporters at the Capitol to leave.
“It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side,” he said. “But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.”
Word came on Wednesday evening that a woman who was shot inside the U.S. Capitol during the violent pro-Trump protest died.
That report came from two officials familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
The Metropolitan Police Department said it was taking the lead on the shooting investigation. Police did not immediately provide details about the circumstances of the shooting.
Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump breached the security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.
The president took to Twitter again Wednesday night, saying “these are the things and event that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly tested for so long.” He then repeated his call for protesters to “go home with love and in peace.”
Twitter initially flagged both of the president’s posts with an advisory stating the claim of election fraud is disputed and prevented people from replying, retweeting or liking it,while Facebook and YouTube removed the video.
Hours later, Twitter blocked the tweets from view, replacing it with a short message stating the post was no longer available.
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