Former president Barack Obama released a statement Wednesday evening, expressing his utter disappointment with the riot and chaos led by fervent Donald Trump supporters upon the U.S. Capitol yesterday.
Obama's statement comes after the entire nation watched in shock as thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building while Congress was officially certifying President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's November election win. Rioters broke through doors and smashed in windows, took deranged selfies with law enforcement and inside government officials' offices, and more cheered on the debauchery from outside the Capitol's walls. President Donald Trump not only refused to outwardly condemn the lawless mob, but told them he "loved them" and that they were "special" during his little-too-late recorded response to the chaos.
"History will rightly 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," read a statement from Obama shared on social media. "For two months now, a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth—that this was not a particularly close election and that President-Elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20."
Here’s my statement on today’s violence at the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/jLCKo2D1Ya
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 7, 2021
Obama added that Trump's delusional refusal to accept the 2020 election results and his irresponsible narrative surrounding a "stolen" election all but ensured that an act of this nature would find its way to Washington.
"Their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we're seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo," continued Obama. "Right now, Republican leaders have a choice made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy. They can continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires. Or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America."
Obama concluded his statement by applauding Republican members of Congress who, due to the day's attacks, not only ultimately revoked their initial plans to object to Biden's presidential victory, but finally spoke out and condemned the mayhem spun by the nation's own commander in chief.
"I've been heartened to see many members of the President's party speak up forcefully today. Their voices add to the examples of Republican state and local election officials in states like Georgia who've refused to be intimidated and have discharged their duties honorably," added Obama. "We need more leaders like these—right now and in the days, weeks, and months ahead as President-Elect Biden works to restore a common purpose to our politics. It's up to all of us as Americans, regardless of party, to support him in that goal."
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