President-elect Joe Biden addressed the American people directly just after 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, as Trump supporters occupied the U.S. Capitol building. Biden condemned the riot and called on the participants to stand down. He also called on President Donald Trump to go on live TV and speak out in the same manner.
Biden compared the occupation of the U.S. Capitol to "an insurrection" and "a siege." He described it as an attack not only on public property but on the democratic process itself. He spoke from his office in Wilmington, Delaware, and his words were carried live by most major news networks. In love coverage, Biden's speech played side-by-side with chaotic scenes of violence at the Capitol.
President-elect Biden addresses the nation: https://t.co/BXM3SZK25R— Biden-Harris Presidential Transition (@Transition46) January 6, 2021
"At this hour, our democracy's under unprecedented assault. Unlike anything we've seen in modern times," Biden said. "An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people's representatives and the Capitol Hill police, sworn to protect them. And the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic. An assault on the rule of law, like few times we have ever seen it. An assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people's business."
"Let me be very clear. The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America," Biden went on, in comments, he posted as a tweet as well. "Do not represent who we are. What we're seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It's disorder. It's chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now."
"I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward," Biden went on. He then remarked on the power a president's words can carry, for better or for worse, alluding to Trump's speech earlier in the day just before this demonstration began. He said: "Therefore, I call on President Trump to go on national television now, to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution, and demand an end to this siege."
Biden went on, while around the same time, Trump posted a video of himself speaking on social media. In it, he did call on the mob to go home, while at the same time repeating and emphasizing his conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. At the time of this writing, authorities have still not fully regained control of the U.S. Capitol.