President Donald Trump released a statement Thursday night condemning the “heinous attack” on the United States Capitol where protesters turned violent Wednesday, forcing their way through fences and law enforcement to breach the federal building.
“Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem,” President Trump said in a recorded video message from the White House. “I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders. America is and must always be a nation of law and order.”
The Capitol was evacuated Wednesday as protesters made their way into the building, forcing lawmakers and Capitol Hill staffers left inside to shelter in place.
The chaotic scene left four people dead, including one Air Force veteran and mother who was shot to death inside the Capitol building.
“The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy,” Trump said. “To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction: you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay.”
Trump touched on the intensity surrounding the 2020 election cycle, noting that while “emotions are high,” calm must be restored.
“We must get on with the business of America,” the president stated.
In November, Election Day was marked with confusion and unprecedented changes, prompting President Trump’s campaign, as well as independent supporters, to take legal action in an effort to answer questions surrounding allegations of voter fraud, suppression and illegal changes in voting processes.
President Trump said the legal efforts were his fight to “defend American democracy, and while Congress officially declared Joe Biden the president-elect around 3 a.m. Thursday morning, Trump said he will continue to push for election reform.
“I continue to strongly believe that we must reform our election laws to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections,” Trump said.
The president continued, “To the citizens of our country, serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime. And to all of my wonderful supporters, I know you are disappointed, but I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning.”