U.S. President Donald Trump has been locked out of his Twitter account after releasing a video telling protesters who violently stormed the Capitol building to prevent President-Elect Joe Biden’s certification to “go home,” while refusing to concede the legitimacy of the election results, maintaining that the U.S. election was stolen from him.
“I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us,” Trump said in a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday.
“But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have a law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.”
Twitter limited users from replying, retweeting or liking the video, along with several other tweets that feature disputed election claims “due to a risk of violence.”
Hours after Trump posted his video on social media, Variety reported that Facebook, YouTube and Facebook all took the video down from their respective platforms. Shortly after, Twitter locked the president out of his Twitter account.
“This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video,” Facebook vice president of integrity Guy Rosen wrote in a tweet. “We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”
In a subsequent tweet from the Twitter Safety account, it was revealed that “the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.”
This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 7, 2021
As the riot was unfolding, Biden called for a return to “simple decency.”
“At this hour our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” Biden said. He called the riot at the Capitol building “an assault on the rule of law like few times we have ever seen it.”
Chaos descended onto the House Chamber floor as protesters supporting the Republican president breached the Capitol building’s doors.
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence was pulled from the House Chamber floor and police dispersed tear gas to push back protesters, telling members of Congress inside the House chamber to put on gas masks. Several senators tweeted they were sheltering in their offices while security evacuated much of the building.
One protester made it onto the House Chamber dais and yelled “Trump won that election.”
Amid the violence, one woman was shot. Her condition remains unknown. Several images have emerged of protesters inside. In one, a protester is sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s chair. Another shows a protester carrying a House podium. Outside, a hanging post with a noose has been erected by the west side of the Capitol building.
Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s press secretary, said the U.S. National Guard and other federal protective services were “on the way” to help quell the violence.
Republicans had just mounted their first objection to Arizona’s electoral vote count when the floor was evacuated.
Sen. Ted Cruz, who led a group of 12 Republican senators promising to reject the Electoral College results, called for an “emergency audit” of the elections results. The Electoral College favoured Biden to win with 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a strong rebuke to the challenge, saying the country “cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes,” adding that the attempt to overturn the election results would “damage the republic forever.”
“The voters, the courts and the states all have spoken,” McConnell said.
Since Biden’s projected win on Nov. 7, Trump has made baseless allegations of voter fraud and widespread voting irregularities, leading to a flurry of failed lawsuits attempting to overturn election results.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump had urged the massive crowd of protesters to march towards the Capitol, vowing he would “never concede” to Biden.
“We will never give up,” he said.
Rep. Veronica Escobar said she was currently sheltering as both the Capitol building, House and Senate chambers were locked down. She blamed Trump for the breach, claiming “this is the chaos and lawlessness @realDonaldTrump has created.”
I’m currently sheltering in place. The Capitol building has been breached and both chambers are locked down.
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) January 6, 2021
Shortly after, Trump tweeted asking protesters to “stay peaceful!”
In a following tweet, he asked those at the U.S. Capitol to “respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.”
Pence has also spoken out against the violence, saying that “anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building,” in a tweet.
House Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement demanding demand that all protestors “leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol grounds immediately.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser initiated a city-wide curfew for D.C., that will go from Wednesday at 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Thursday.
“Essential workers, including healthcare personnel and media, are exempt,” the emergency alert read.
Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., said in a tweet the federal government was “following the developments on Capitol Hill very closely.”
“All embassy are safe and accounted for,” the tweet read.
“Canadians in D.C. should follow the advice of local authorities.”
Following Trump’s speech, celebs took to Twitter to share their thoughts:
What a lying sack of shit. Trump puts out a video STILL saying the election was a fraud, but the insurrectionists should go home. What the fuck…"you're very special." A total asshole from his ingrown toes to his fake hair.
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) January 6, 2021
Donald Trump is over. He will never, ever hold office or credibility again. Same with all his GOP enablers.
Time to move into the light America. DING DONG MAGA IS DEAD.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) January 6, 2021
I repeat: Fuck Donald Trump. This is insane.
— Jack Quaid (@JackQuaid92) January 6, 2021
“You’re very special” “I love you” this is what @realDonaldTrump just said about TERRORISTS who have used violence to take over the US Capitol. What in the ACTUAL living hell is this?
— Jackie Cox (@JackieCoxNYC) January 6, 2021
#TwentyFifthAmendmentNOW remove Donald Trump.
— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) January 6, 2021
Is there any single reason Donald Trump is not in handcuffs at this very moment? If any other American incited thousands into storming the Capital Building, they would already be behind bars. The “Law and Order” President needs to face both right now.
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) January 6, 2021
You are a psychopath.
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) January 6, 2021
More to come.
— With files from The Associated Press