Poll: 45% of Republicans support Congress siege A YouGov poll suggests that a majority of US voters perceived Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol as a threat to democracy – but there is a strong divide along party lines.The survey of 1,397 registered US voters found 62% were considered the riot a threat to democracy – including 93% of Democrats, 55% of independents, and 27% of Republicans.Among Republicans, 45% of those polled actively supported the actions of Trump supporters disrupting Congress while it was in session, although 43% did not,YouGov found.Several surveys in recent years have found that US politics is increasingly polarised – with sharp differences in opinion along party lines.
A monumental security failingGordon CoreraSecurity correspondent, BBC NewsReutersCopyright: ReutersThe storming of the Capitol and the images of members of Congress afraid for their lives makes clear this was a monumental security failure.There was advance warning of the protests and the possibility of violence should have come as no surprise and yet the security in place was manifestly inadequate to deter or stop people with the Capitol’s own police looking under-prepared and overwhelmed.Contrasts have been drawn with the measures put in place for the Black Lives Matters protest last year when the National Guard and other forces were deployed in military fatigues in a highly visible show of force. That emphasises the sense in which security decisions appears to have been politicised under the Trump administration in terms of how different groups are treated.National Guard reinforcements were only deployed after the storming took place, apparently after Vice-President Pence rather than President Trump gave the order.Events could have been even worse if members of Congress had been confronted or taken hostage. And this will raise further concerns about security for Joe Biden’s inauguration on 20
Reality CheckPosted at 12:1412:14What is Capitol Hill?ReutersCopyright: ReutersIt’s the area in Washington DC where the US Congress is situated and it’s where where laws are written, debated and passed.The Hill is centred around the US Capitol building, where the Senate and the House of Representatives sit, as well as other office buildings. This is where elected lawmakers and their staff work and meet to do their businesses.The Hill also comprises several other key sites – such as the US Supreme Court and the Library of Congress.The US Capitol – the famous white domed building first completed in 1800 – is where Joe Biden will be sworn in as the next US president on 20 January.Article share tools
Key differences between the US and Hong Kong protestsGrace TsoiBBC News, Hong KongGetty has compared the storming of the US Capitol Building and the break-in of the Hong Kong Legislative Council on 1 July 2019, calling out the West’s hypocrisy over its different attitudes.“Similar events happened but some people in the US, including the media, have totally different reactions,” said China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chun-ying.Some outside of China have also drawn comparisons between the two events.However, despite the superficial similarities, there are actually many important differences.I reported from inside the legislative chamber that night. Protesters did damage the building, spray graffiti and deface the Hong Kong emblem, resulting in HK$39 million ($5m; £3m) worth of damage. However, the chamber was empty before the protesters broke into the building – and no one was armed.The storming of the Legislative Council also won public sympathy.One widely-quoted piece of graffiti from that night had the slogan: “It was you who taught me that peaceful marches are useless”, referring to the government’s disregard of the two earlier peaceful marches that were attended by up to two million people. Protesters also set up a sign telling others not to destroy the library, and left money for drinks they took.But the most important difference is that Hong Kong is not a democracy – its Legislative Council is designed in a way that makes it almost impossible for the pro-democracy camp to win a majority, and those protesters were demanding democratic reform, rather than the overturning of an election result.Now, any organised attempt by the pro-democracy camp to win a majority may be an offence under the National Security Law recently imposed by Beijing – as shown on Wednesday, when more than 50 activists who organised and participated in pro-democracy primaries were arrested.Read more:
Posted at 11:4311:43Photos show damage inside the ransacked CapitolIf you want to get a sense of some of the physical damage that rioters caused when they broke into Congress, have a look at this video from a CNN reporter of the inside of a senate official’s office.View more on TwitterView more on twitterThe mob also broke into Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office, breaking glass and searching through her belongings. A rioter was photographed sitting in her chair and later, once he had left the building, proudly showed photographers letters that he had taken belonging to Pelosi.AFPCopyright: AFPAFPCopyright: AFPA rioter who broke into Pelosi’s office brandishing her letters before leaving the buildingImage caption: A rioter who broke into Pelosi’s office brandishing her letters before leaving the buildingAFPCopyright: AFPA Fox News journalist also shared pictures of the destruction wrought on the Senate side of the Capitol buildings.
‘A predictable tragedy’BBC Radio 5 LiveAnthony Scaramucci, a former White House Communications director under Donald Trump, and now a staunch critic of the President, has been giving his reaction to events in Washington on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up to Money programme, calling it “a sad day for the United States” but “a predictable tragedy”.Mr Scaramucci famously served 11 days in the communications role before being fired in 2017. “I have to own this for the rest of my life. I normalised him and went to go work for him,” he said.He added: “Donald Trump has become a great unifying figure in the United States. We just happen to all be unifying against him.“In my 57 years here on planet Earth, I cannot recall a singular moment where I agreed with Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden at the same time, but I did that today and I attribute that to the actions of Donald Trump.Trump statement discusses transition – but not the riotsPeter BowesNorth America correspondentReutersCopyright: ReutersBiden and Harris are now officially certified as the next president and vice president (file photo)Image caption: Biden and Harris are now officially certified as the next president and vice president (file photo)The final tally of electoral college votes was never in doubt.They’d already been confirmed by individual states but Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now officially certified by the US Congress as the next president and vice president of the United States.After being delayed for several hours the proceeding finally ended in the middle of the night, with some Republicans unsuccessfully objecting to results from several states.In a statement Donald Trump said that while he totally disagreed with the outcome of the election, there would be an orderly transition on January 20th.The president made no reference to the violent protest at the Capitol building, which led to the deaths of four people.Merkel ‘regrets’ Trump did not concede defeatEPACopyright: EPAGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “angry and saddened” by the violent attacks on the US Congress.”I deeply regret that President Trump has not conceded his defeat, since November and again yesterday,” she told German MPs at a meeting.“Doubts over the election outcome have been stoked and that created an atmosphere which made last night’s events possible.”She welcomed President-elect Joe Biden’s statement and the fact Congress continued to certify his presidency, saying his inauguration should “open a new chapter” in America’s democracy.“That means the forces of democracy have prevailed,” she said. “That is something I always knew about the United States and expected.”You can read how other world leaders have reacted here.
Trump’s words led to violence – UK home secretaryThe UK’s home secretary Priti Patel has called the scenes in Washington on Wednesday “horrendous” and unacceptable”.”His comments directly led to the violence, and so far he has failed to condemn that violence and that is completely wrong,” she told BBC Breakfast.Read more of our interview with Patel here.Video contentVideo caption: ‘Trump was wrong’ says Priti Patel’Trump was wrong’ says Priti PatelWho were the groups at the rally?Shayan SardarizadehBBC MonitoringGetty ImagesCopyright: Getty ImagesA well-known QAnon activist was pictured inside the Senate chamberImage caption: A well-known QAnon activist was pictured inside the Senate chamberSupporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory, alongside far-right pro-Trump groups, were planning the rally outside Congress for weeks.QAnon is a baseless conspiracy theory that claims President Trump and a secret team of military intelligence officers have been waging a war against Satan-worshipping paedophiles in the Democratic party.In addition, supporters of the “Stop the Steal” election movement, Proud Boys and other groups have been encouraging their followers to attend the march.So-called “patriot caravans” and other initiatives were organised online to help transport activists to Washington DC in anticipation of the protest.
Many of those attending the rally had consumed viral conspiracy theories and misleading narratives about the presidential election on major online platforms, convinced that the vote was stolen from Trump.US election officials have described the vote as the most secure in history.Discussion on Gab and Parler, social media platforms popular with far-right groups banned from Facebook and Twitter, featured threats that anything other than Congress overturning the outcome would lead to “patriots” having to rescue their country from traitors, communists, Satanists and paedophiles.WATCH: Moment Pence confirms Biden’s victoryVideo contentVideo caption: US Election 2020: Congress confirms Joe Biden’s victoryUS Election 2020: Congress confirms Joe Biden’s victoryThe announcement was made by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of the four “tellers” appointed by the House and Senate to count the electoral college votes.She said: “The report we make is that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the president and vice president according to the ballots that have been given to us.”Vice-President Mike Pence, who as president of the Senate oversaw the certification process, confirmed to Congress that, of the 538 electoral college votes cast, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris received 306 and Donald Trump and Mike Pence received 232 – mirroring the results of November’s election.“The announcement of the state of the vote by the President of the Senate shall be deemed as sufficient declaration of the persons elected President and Vice President of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January, 2021 and shall be entered together with the list of the votes on the journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Pence said.Article share tools
Former White House officials condemn TrumpReutersCopyright: ReutersFormer Defence Secretary James Mattis, who resigned in 2018, accused Trump of stoking violenceImage caption: Former Defence Secretary James Mattis, who resigned in 2018, accused Trump of stoking violenceEarlier today, two former officials who have worked closely with Donald Trump joined political leaders in condemning the storming of Congress. Former Defence Secretary James Mattis directly accused Trump of stoking the violence.“Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr Trump,” he said in a statement. He also said Trump had been “enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice.”Mattis resigned from his position in 2018 after disagreeing with president over the war in Syria. He also sharply criticised Trump’s response in July to the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.Meanwhile, former White House chief of staff John Kelly posted on Twitter that the US “needs to look infinitely harder at who we elect to any office in our land”. He said candidates’ character, morals, ethical record, and integrity should be examined more closely.He singled out President-elect Joe Biden’s remarks to the nation about the violence on the Capitol as “presidential”. The retired general resigned from the White House in 2018 and, like Mattis, has since publicly criticised Trump
BREAKINGTrump releases statement committing to “orderly transition”President Trump has just released a statement committing to “an orderly transition on January 20th” but repeating his unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud.“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” he said, in a comment published on his spokesperson’s Twitter account. Twitter has temporarily blocked the president from using his own account.”I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” he added.More than 60 legal cases by Trump’s campaign team challenging the November result have failed
Posted at 9:009:00Analysis: What does this mean for Trump’s legacy?Anthony ZurcherBBC North America reporterReutersCopyright: ReutersIf this is the “at long last, have you left no sense of decency” moment for Donald Trump, it arrives as they’re cleaning up blood and broken glass in the US Capitol.As the afternoon stretched into the evening, and police finally secured the US Capitol, a growing chorus of voices – from the left and right – condemned the violence. It was not surprising that Democrats, like soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, laid the riots at the feet of the president.More noteworthy, however, were the Republicans who followed suit.And the condemnations were not limited to Trump’s reliable intraparty critics. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who frequently sides with the president, also spoke out. “It’s past time for the president to accept the results of the election, quit misleading the American people, and repudiate mob violence,” he said.First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham and Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews both resigned in protest, and there are reports that more administration officials will head for the exits in the next 24 hours.Trump’s presidency will be over in just two weeks. At that point, Republican Party leaders will have to grapple with a future where it has lost control of the Congress and the White House and has a former president whose reputation is badly tarnished but who still has strong sway over a sizeable segment of the party’s base.You can read more from Anthony’s piece here
Congress certifies Joe Biden as presidentReutersCopyright: ReutersMike Pence made the announcement, alongside Nancy Pelosi, in the joint meeting of CongressImage caption: Mike Pence made the announcement, alongside Nancy Pelosi, in the joint meeting of CongressCongress has certified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice-president of the US.The electoral votes were approved after both the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected objections to the votes in the states of Pennsylvania and Arizona.The normally procedural session of Congress was disrupted on Wednesday when supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol building. The session resumed and continued through the night after the building was cleared.
Posted at 8:388:38BREAKINGCongress confirms Biden’s victoryThe US Congress has formally confirmed Joe Biden’s victory. We’ll bring you more details shortly.
Posted at 8:328:32BREAKINGHouse rejects objection to Pennsylvania votesReutersCopyright: ReutersSpeaker Nancy Pelosi is leading the vote count in the houseImage caption: Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading the vote count in the houseThe US House of Representatives has just voted 282-138 to reject an objection to Pennsylvania’s electoral college votes. The Senate has already dismissed a similar objection there.The House and Senate will continue to count the remaining Electoral College votes needed to certify Joe Biden as the next US president.FBI appeals for witnesses over Capitol violenceGettyCopyright: GettyThe FBI has put out an appeal seeking help in “identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington DC”.It is asking for “tips and digital media” relating to the violence that broke out at the US Capitol building and the surrounding area on Wednesday.Members of the public who “witnessed unlawful violent actions” are urged to submit information toMore resignations of top officialsReutersCopyright: ReutersMatt PottingerImage caption: Matt PottingerMatt Pottinger, deputy national security advisor, is the latest Trump official to reportedly resign.Bloomberg News, citing sources close to Pottinger, said he was “dismayed by the attack on the Capitol and Trump’s incitement of protesters”, while sources told CNN Pottinger had said “there was very little for him to consider”.It follows after earlier reports that numerous other White House staff members also resigned following the chaos of the day.Among those who stepped down earlier are Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews, the chief of staff of First Lady Melania Trump, Stephanie Grisham, and White House social secretary Rickie Niceta.Article share tools
‘Failed insurrection’ will not intimidate SenateHere’s more from Mitch McConnell. Speaking after the chamber resumed its meeting, McConnell tried to reassure the country that the Senate would not bow to pressure and violence.”We will not be kept out of this chamber by mobs, thugs or threats,” he said.”We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation.”Video contentVideo caption: McConnell: ‘Failed insurrection’ will not intimidate SenateMcConnell: ‘Failed insurrection’ will not intimidate .