WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump addressed the nation in a recorded message Wednesday afternoon urging the violent protesters occupying the U.S. Capitol to “return home in peace” while sympathizing with their “pain” and their “injury” linked to the “stolen” presidential election of 2020.
“I know your pain,” Trump said. “I know your injury. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was an overwhelming election, and everyone knows it, especially on the other side. But you have to go home now.
The protest began in the early afternoon after Trump addressed supporters at a rally. Pro-Trump protesters stormed the United States Capitol in an attempt to thwart President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. As protesters breached the building, lawmakers have ordered to take shelter in place and then be evacuated as tensions continue. Congress was in joint session to count the votes of the Electoral College.
Video footage from the scene shows people smashing windows to enter the Capitol, standing on government vehicles, scaling the Capitol and violently engaging with law enforcement. The video also surfaced from a woman being shot inside the Capitol. Law enforcement officers were also injured, according to reports.
“We must have peace,” Trump said more than two hours after the start of the ordeal. “We must have law and order. We must respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anyone to be hurt.
“It is a very difficult time,” he said. “There has never been a time like this when such a thing has happened where they can take it away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. It was a fraudulent election, but we cannot play these people’s game. We must have peace. So go home. We love you. You are very special.
Trump’s message came shortly after Biden came on television to demand that Trump immediately make a televised address calling for an end to the violence and occupation of the Capitol. Republican lawmakers, many of whom were speaking to reporters on national television, had also publicly called on Trump to condemn the violence and call for an end to the occupation.