WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — As Congress convened Wednesday to confirm the Electoral College votes won by Joe Biden, a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, marching through the building and forcing a halt of congressional deliberations over the challenges to Biden's victory.
People were evacuated.
Though President Trump has said that he "will never concede" the election, he did tweet, condemning his supporters for getting out of hand.
"Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement," he said. "They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!"
Trump issued a video shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, as well:
A handful of elected leaders from Texas also spoke out against the chaos, including Sen. Ted Cruz, although he did object to counting Arizona's electoral votes earlier in the day in challenge of Biden's victory.
"Violence is always unacceptable," said Sen. Cruz. "Even when passions run high. Anyone engaged in violence—especially against law enforcement—should be fully prosecuted. God bless the Capitol Police and the honorable men & women of law enforcement who show great courage keeping all of us safe."
Gov. Greg Abbott's office released the following statement:
“Peaceful protest is a core tenet of the United States Constitution; violence and mayhem are not. The violence and mayhem must stop. America is founded on the rule of law, and the law enforcement officers working to restore order at the United States Capitol must be heeded.”
Former President George W. Bush released the following statement:
"Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our Nation’s government in disbelief and dismay. It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. 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. The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes. Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation. In the United States of America, it is the fundamental responsibility of every patriotic citizen to support the rule of law. To those who are disappointed in the results of the election: Our country is more important than the politics of the moment. Let the officials elected by the people fulfill their duties and represent our voices in peace and safety. May God continue to bless the United States of America."
"To those storming the Capitol - I am on the House floor and I will not be deterred from upholding my oath, under God, to the Constitution by mob demand. #StandUpForAmerica," tweeted Congressman Chip Roy.
"Mr. President - get to a microphone immediately and establish calm and order," Roy later tweeted. "Now. And work with Capitol Police to secure the Capitol. It’s the last thing you’ll do that matters as President."
"I like many people voted for President Trump in the 2020 election and hoped for a different result," said Rep. Michael McCaul. "But violence and destruction is not the way to express your grievances. This is disgraceful and has to end."
"I am currently safe, but the Capitol has been breached and some colleagues are trapped there," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett. "President Trump has set loose violence on our Congress."
"The Constitution gives our citizens the right to peacefully assemble. It does not give them the right to destroy property and commit violence against our first responders; Capitol Police and law enforcement have our full support," said Rep. Roger Williams. "I am disgusted by the actions of those who came to our nation’s capital with violent intentions. This behavior is an extraordinary stain on our democracy."
Rep. Veronica Escobar of El Paso shared a video from inside the capitol, also blaming the "chaos and lawlessness" on the president.
"I call on protesters in our state and our nation’s Capital to practice their constitutional right in a peaceful manner," said the Texas Attorney General on Twitter. "I stand for election integrity and the democratic process. I will not tolerate violence and civil disorder."
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said, "I am in the US Capitol. I am safe and will not fear or leave because of this unwarranted and shameless violence. These actions are not serving well at all our precious Democracy, America."
Rep. Al Green called on President Trump to call on his supporters to stop "this madness."
Judge Carter said the violence is "unacceptable."
Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro tweeted the following statement:
"I’m safe and sheltering in place. Thank you to folks reaching out. The President of the United States incited a coup attempt. It’s a dark day in America — but peace, democracy, and the rule of law will prevail."
"Make no mistake: the domestic terrorism at the U.S. Capitol by armed protesters is not only Trump's fault alone," added his brother, former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro. "This is the result of leaders in the Republican Party fueling conspiracy, division, and hatred for years. And it won't be fixed until they lose their office."
The Texas GOP tweeted the following statement:
"The Texas GOP supports the rights of all to freely assemble and redress grievances. However, we do condemn violence and pray for all in our nation's capital."
ABC News shared a photo of law enforcement officers pointing their guns at a House Chamber door that had been vandalized by protesters during a joint session of Congress.
Protestors also gathered in Austin on Wednesday outside of the Texas Capitol, however, there have not been reports of any vandalism or break-ins. Public access appeared to be blocked off Wednesday afternoon after the events in Washington erupted.