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Holcomb, Braun, Hollingsworth React To Protests At U.S. Capitol

A screenshot of PBS Newshour coverage of the protesting at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6 2021.

(PBS Newshour Screenshot)

The U.S. Capitol was engulfed in chaos on Wednesday, as supporters of President Donald Trump, responding to his call to head there, breached the complex, resulting in violence in the seat of America's federal government.

The surreal and dangerous scene interrupted proceedings in the House and Senate, as members of Congress were taking up President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

As Trump called for peace but did not condemn the chaos at the Capitol, Vice President and former Indiana governor Mike Pence tweeted out a plea for the pro-Trump extremists to leave the building.

At around 4 p.m. EST, Trump tweeted a 60-second video statement, during which he refused to accept the result of the election but called for the mob to leave the area.

"Go home, we love you, you're very special," Trump said, appearing to address the people whose actions had violently halted the democratic process earlier in the day. 

Trump's video statement has been flagged by Twitter as a disputed claim. It is not possible to interact with the tweet "due to a risk of violence."

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) released a statement addressing the actions of pro-Trump extremists via email.

"What we’re seeing at the Capitol is wrong, hurts the cause of election integrity, and needs to stop immediately," the statement read. "Rioting and violence are never acceptable."

Earlier in the day, Braun joined several other Republican senators in refusing to vote to certify the result of the presidential election.

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth responded to the insurrection via Twitter, condemning the "violence" and "vandalism" at the Capitol.

Gov. Eric Holcomb, when asked about the chaos in D.C. during the state's weekly COVID-19 press conference, referenced the civil unrest of the 1960s.

In a statement released Wednesday evening, Holcomb called the group a "mob" and condemned the violence.

"It’s both saddening and sickening to watch a mob devolve into thinking their rules would ever replace the rule of law," Holcomb's statement said. "I unequivocally condemn the violence at the U.S. Capitol that we are now witnessing. Passion, patriotism and love for our nation should always and only be expressed in constructive ways that seek to honor the ideals on which our nation was founded. Any means of violence runs counter to who we are and is never acceptable.”

Here's more response from Indiana officials:

This post has been updated. NPR contributed to this post.

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