“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesters yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true — and it’s unacceptable.”
– President-elect Joe Biden
“We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms. We grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today.”
— Vice President Mike Pence
“History will rightfully remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation. But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise. ...
I’ve been heartened to see many members of the President’s party speak up forcefully today. ...”
— Former President Barack Obama
“I have always believed that America is made up of good, decent people. I still do,” Clinton continued. “If that’s who we really are, we must reject today’s violence, turn the page, and move forward together — honoring our Constitution, remaining committed to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
— Former President Bill Clinton
“This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement.”
— Former President George W. Bush
“Rosalynn and I are troubled by the violence at the U.S. Capitol today. This is a national tragedy and is not who we are as a nation. Having observed elections in troubled democracies worldwide, I know that we the people can unite to walk back from this precipice to peacefully uphold the laws of our nation, and we must. We join our fellow citizens in praying for a peaceful resolution so our nation can heal and complete the transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.”
— Former President Jimmy Carter
“The peaceful transition of power is the hallmark of our democracy. Today’s terrorism is not who we are. This attack on our country must be overcome. America is better than this.”
— North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper
“Let me be clear: these actions are not a defense of this country, but an attack on it.
“I supported President Trump’s legal right to contest the election results through the courts, but the courts have now unanimously and overwhelmingly rejected these suits. No evidence of voter fraud has emerged that would warrant overturning the 2020 election. The President bears responsibility for today’s events by promoting the unfounded conspiracy theories that have led to this point. It is past time to accept the will of American voters and to allow our nation to move forward.”
— Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina
“The rioters — and the president — have claimed the mantel of ‘law and order’ and ‘support the police’ and yet when it came to obeying the law, preserving order, and respecting the police they would have none of it.
“Conservatives and evangelical Christians, like myself, have for too long rationalized that ignoring the president’s language and behavior was tolerable because of his policies. There comes a time, however (even at this late hour) when one must ask one’s self if this was a Faustian bargain that overwhelmed legitimate policy disagreements.”
— Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist
“The President’s incendiary speech, along with his inflammatory warm-up show featuring Rudolph Giuliani and Donald Trump Jr., slowly but surely turned an angry campaign crowd of thousands into a dangerous mob that would later attack and take over the US Capitol. ...
“The inability of police forces of the most powerful nation in human history to adequately protect the Capitol building from an angry mob seems inconceivable. Where were the Secret Service, the FBI, the National Guard, not to mention the nation’s powerful armed forces? ...
“The Capitol Police will have a lot of explaining to do. But the sad truth here is that the Capitol Police were overwhelmed by the size and determination of the Trump mob.”
— Paul Callan, CNN legal analyst