America’s enemies have taunted Donald Trump with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reveling in the ‘fragility of Western democracy’, China mocking the ‘beautiful’ sight of a mob storming the US Capitol and Russian media gloating about scenes that have shocked the world.
In a speech broadcast by state television, Rouhani said: ‘What we saw in the United States yesterday evening and today shows above all how fragile and vulnerable Western democracy is.’
China’s internet erupted in mirth at America’s troubled democracy after Trump supporters caused carnage in Washington DC, comparing the chaos to the Hong Kong anti-government protests of 2019.
On Thursday morning, state media tabloid Global Times tweeted side-by-side photo comparisons of Hong Kong protesters occupying the city’s Legislative Council Complex in July 2019 with Wednesday’s Washington riots.
The latter saw hardcore Trump fans invade the US Capitol to protest the election defeat, taking selfies, scuffling with security and ransacking parts of the building.
While Russian media delighted in the chaos in the US, a senior minister said US democracy was ‘limping on both feet’.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave a televised speech about the latest chaos in the US in which he stated the latest events show ‘how fragile and vulnerable Western democracy is’
Around the world various newspapers reported on the violent scenes which took place in Washington DC yesterday. Pictured: Dutch paper The Alegemeen Dagblad’s headline read ‘Trump’s legacy’ (left) and German paper The Hamburger Morgenpost (right)
Russia’s state-run RT outlet also covered the events in Washington as they unfolded, publishing an op-ed with the headline: ‘Do you realize now what you have done? US gets the kind of ‘democracy’ it championed overseas’
‘@SpeakerPelosi once referred to the Hong Kong riots as ‘a beautiful sight to behold’,’ the Global Times said in the tweet, referring to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s June 2019 comment about Hong Kong’s mass pro-democracy demonstrations, which were mostly peaceful at that time.
‘It remains yet to be seen whether she will say the same about the recent developments in Capitol Hill.’
China’s Communist Youth League also described the unrest as a ‘beautiful sight’ on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.
Russia’s state-run news outlet RT published an op-ed implying the US was getting what it deserves as a result of its foreign policy.
‘Do you realize now what you have done? US gets the kind of ‘democracy’ it championed overseas,’ the op-ed’s headline read, adding ‘the US denounced as illegitimate the presidential elections in Belarus, Bolivia and Venezuela.’
Wednesday’s siege of the US Capitol building by supporters of President Trump forced politicians to rush from the building and interrupted challenges to Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory and as Electoral College votes were counted.
While Russian president Vladimir Putin (pictured on Thursday on Lipno Island) is yet to make a statement about the clashes, Russian state controlled news organization RT also covered the story extensively
Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud
Venezuela’s socialist regime trolled Washington on Wednesday, expressing regret over the Trump mob storming the Capitol building and hope that the ‘American people can blaze a new path toward stability’.
The country’s minister for foreign affairs, Jorge Arreaza, released a statement on Wednesday saying Venezuela ‘expresses its concern over the acts of violence that are taking place in the city of Washington’
He added that the country ‘condemns political polarization and aspires that the American people can blaze a new path toward stability and social justice.’
Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, has been at odds with Trump and his administration during its time in office, with the US backing attempts to install opposition leader Juan Guaido as president.
‘With this regrettable episode, the United States suffers from the same that it has generated in other countries which its policies of aggression,’ Venezuela’s statement read.
The country said it hoped ‘the American people can blaze a new path toward stability and social justice.’
In a public statement from Tehran, Iran’s Rouhani described Western democracy as ‘fragile, vulnerable’.
Meanwhile, senior Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachyov said American democracy is ‘limping on both feet’.
In a Facebook post, the chair of the Russian upper house’s foreign affairs committee said: ‘The losing side has more than enough grounds to accuse the winner of falsifications – it is clear that American democracy is limping on both feet.’
Venezuela’s socialist regime headed by president Nicolás Maduro (pictured) has been at odds with Trump and his administration during its time in office, with the US backing attempts to install opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pictured on Wednesday. Turkey’s foreign ministry called the events in the US ‘worrying’, saying ‘we believe that the US will overcome this domestic crisis calmly’
‘We follow the events in the USA with concern and invite the parties to calmness. We believe that problems will always be solved within law and democracy,’ Turkey’s Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop said on Twitter (pictured)
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign ministry called the events ‘worrying’.
He said that in Turkey ‘we believe that the US will overcome this domestic crisis calmly’.
Turkish citizens in the US were urged to stay away from crowded places where demonstrations are held.
‘We follow the events in the USA with concern and invite the parties to calmness. We believe that problems will always be solved within law and democracy,’ Turkey’s Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop said on Twitter.
‘As Turkey, we have always been in favour of the law and democracy and we recommend it to everyone,’ he added.
A number of allies also reacted with alarm to the scenes in Washington DC as a many maintained live coverage of the events.
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the scenes were ‘disgraceful’ and called for the peaceful transition of power, with Biden’s inauguration set to take place on January 20.
‘Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress,’ Johnson tweeted. ‘The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.’
Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour – the country’s opposition party – also reacted to the events, saying: ‘Horrendous scenes from the US. These are not ‘protesters’ – this a direct attack on democracy and legislators carrying out the will of the American people.’
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the scenes were ‘disgraceful’ and called for the peaceful transition of power on Twitter (pictured)
Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, said: ‘Horrendous scenes from the US. These are not ‘protesters’ – this a direct attack on democracy and legislators carrying out the will of the American people.’
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said: ‘Enemies of democracy will be happy to see these unbelievable pictures from #WashingtonDC,’ he wrote. ‘Riotous words turn into violent acts — on the steps of the Reichstag, and now in the #Capitol. The disdain for democratic institutions is devastating’
The first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, described the scenes as ‘utterly horrifying’ and called for ‘solidarity with those … on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power.’
Speaking to Canada’s News 1130 radio station in Vancouver, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he was concerned and ‘following the situation minute by minute.’
‘I think the American democratic institutions are strong, and hopefully everything will return to normal shortly,’ he added.
Trudeau later tweeted that ‘Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour. Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld – and it will be.’
In France, President Emmanuel Macron shared a video on his Twitter account in the early hours addressing the chaotic scenes in the US.
He delivered an impassioned message about the French relationship with America and detailed how the two countries had found for democracy together for many centuries – including the American War of Independence and the World Wars.
Closing his message he said: ‘Today France stands strongly, fervently and resolutely with the American people and with all people who want to choose their leaders, determine their own destinies and their own lives through free and democratic elections.
‘And we will not yield to the violence of a few individuals who want to challenge that.’
He added: ‘I just wanted to express our friendship and our faith in the United States. What happened today in Washington DC is not America, definitely.
‘We believe in the strength of our democracies. We believe in the strength of American democracy.
Protesters made it into US Senate Chamber as Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump
French Minister of European and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian tweeted: ‘Violence against American institutions is a serious attack on democracy. I condemn them. The will and vote of the American people must be respected.’
Spanish President Pedro Sanchez tweeted last night: ‘I am following with concern the news that are coming from Capitol Hill in Washington.
‘I trust in the strength of America’s democracy. The new Presidency of @JoeBiden will overcome this time of tension, uniting the American people.’
In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted: ‘Very distressing scenes at the US Congress. We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of Government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition.’
As disruptions continued in the Capitol continued, Dutch Prime Minister appealed to Trump to ‘recognize Joe Biden as the next president today’.
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg wrote: ‘Shocking scenes in Washington, DC. The outcome of this democratic election must be respected,’ Stoltenberg tweeted on Wednesday.’
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said: ‘Enemies of democracy will be happy to see these unbelievable pictures from #WashingtonDC. Riotous words turn into violent acts — on the steps of the Reichstag, and now in the #Capitol. The disdain for democratic institutions is devastating.’
The German Ambassador to the UK echoed Mass’s sentiment. Andreas Michaelis tweeted: ‘After our catastrophic failure in the 20th Century we Germans were taught by the US to develop strong democratic institutions. We also learnt that democracy is not just about institutions. It is about political culture, too. All democratic nations need to constantly defend it.’
Protesters in Germany attempted to storm the Reichstag government building in Berlin during a mass rally against coronavirus restrictions.
‘The United States Congress has been the symbol of freedom and democracy around the world for centuries,’ wrote Armin Laschet, the leader of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous federal state.
‘The attacks on the Capitol by fanatical Trump supporters hurt every friend of the United States,’ he said.
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell Fontelles said: ‘In the eyes of the world, American democracy tonight appears under siege. This is an unseen assault on US democracy, its institutions and the rule of law. This is not America. The election results of 3 November must be fully respected.’
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission, said: I believe in the strength of US institutions and democracy. Peaceful transition of power is at the core. Joe Biden won the election. I look forward to working with him as the next President of the USA.’
David Sassoli, the President of the European Parliament, said: ‘Deeply concerning scenes from the US Capitol tonight. Democratic votes must be respected. We are certain the US will ensure that the rules of democracy are protected.’
New outlets in countries and regions more sympathetic to the US also covered the events extensively, including the BBC as well as Middle East-based Aljazeera.
Both ran live rolling coverage of the storming of the Capitol building and the fallout from the event.
‘Violent pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol’ the BBC’s live coverage headline read, before changing to: ‘Violence engulfs Capitol as Trump supporters run riot’.
Al Jazeera’s headline read: ‘US Capitol secured after stormed by pro-Trump protesters,’ along with its live coverage of the chaotic events.
Pictured: The front page of BBC’s website as the events in Washington unfolded on Wednesday
Al Jazeera’s page on the story reported that the US Capitol had been secured after being stormed earlier in the day on Wednesday
Wednesday’s ordinarily mundane procedure of Congress certifying a new president was always going to be extraordinary, with Trump supporters vowing to protest over the results of an election that they have baselessly insisted was reversed by fraud.
But even the unusual deliberations, which included the Republican vice president and Senate majority leader defying Trump’s demands, were quickly overtaken.
In a raucous, out-of-control scene, protesters fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls.
The attack forced politicians to rush from the building and interrupted challenges to Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest inside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC
Supporters of Donald Trump are seen inside the US Capitol after rioters breached security and entered the Capitol
Trump issued a restrained call for peace well after the protests were under way but did not urge supporters to disperse.
Earlier he had seemingly egged them on to march to Capitol Hill.
Senators were evacuated. Some House politicians tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices.
Demonstrators fought with Capitol Police and then forced their way into the building, not long after a huge rally near the White House during which Trump egged them on to march to Capitol Hill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to lower tensions and argued against contesting the result.
He warned the country ‘cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes’ with ‘separate facts.’
McConnell declared: ‘The voters, the courts and the states all have spoken.’
But other Republicans, including House GOP leaders among Trump’s allies were acting out the pleas of supporters at his huge Wednesday rally up Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House to ‘fight for Trump.’
‘We have to fix this,’ said Rep Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the GOP whip.
The last-gasp effort failed.
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021
Still, Trump vowed to he would ‘never concede’ and urged the massive crowd to march to the Capitol where hundreds had already gathered under tight security.
‘We will never give up,’ Trump told his noontime rally.
Vice President Mike Pence was closely watched as he stepped onto the dais to preside over the joint session in the House chamber.
Pence has a largely ceremonial role, opening the sealed envelopes from the states after they are carried in mahogany boxes used for the occasion, and reading the results aloud.
But he was under growing pressure from Trump to overturn the will of the voters and tip the results in the president’s favour, despite having no legal power to affect the outcome.
‘Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!’ Trump tweeted.
But Pence, in a statement shortly before presiding, defied Trump, saying he could not claim ‘unilateral authority’ to reject the electoral votes that make Biden president.
A woman was shot inside the US Capitol on Wednesday afternoon shortly after President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the building and violently clashed with police in a bid to stop Joe Biden’s victory being certified
Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress
Members of congress ran from the floor as police ordered them to evacuate to their offices for their own safety after a mob smashed through police barricades
Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber
The Washington, D.C., police chief said at least five weapons have been recovered and at least 13 people have been arrested so far in the pro-Trump protests.
As darkness began to set in, law enforcement officials were working their way toward the protesters, using percussion grenades to try to clear the area around the Capitol. Big clouds of tear gas were visible.
Police were in full riot gear. They moved down the West steps, clashing with demonstrators.
Mayor Muriel Bowser earlier declared a 6 p.m. curfew.
The chaos caused the Capitol to go on lock down and disrupted the certification of the electoral college vote that would cement Biden’s victory.
The session of Congress comes one day after voters in Georgia apparently handed a pair of stunning victories to the Democratic Senate candidates over Republican incumbents.
The projected Democratic sweep means a 50-50 split in the Senate with Democrats holding the tie-breaking vote in Vice President Kamala Harris – giving Biden much freer rein to carry out priorities, starting with accelerating COVID relief.
Raphael Warnock, the pastor at the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King once preached, was projected to defeat Republican Kelly Loeffler, a 50-year-old businesswoman appointed to the Senate in December 2019.
Warnock, 51, would be just the third African-American to win a Senate seat from the South.
In the other Georgia race, Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 33-year-old video producer, was projected to defeat Republican David Perdue.
‘We love you. You are special.’ Trump finally addresses Capitol mob HE unleashed and says ‘Go home now. We have to have peace’
Donald Trump told his mob of supporters that he ‘loves’ them, but to ‘go home’ after they rampaged past police barriers to storm the U.S. Capitol.
But despite calling for his supporters to stand down, he continued to peddle the baseless claims that the ‘election was stolen’ in a video posted to Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
‘There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people.
‘We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace,’ Trump said.
It came hours after Trump stirred them into a frenzy at his ‘Stop the Steal’ rally, telling them to march on the U.S. Capitol.
The president still has not conceded the election and earlier Wednesday addressed a crowd at the ellipse spouting conspiracy theories that he still had a path to win – if Vice President Mike Pence did his bidding, as well as if GOP lawmakers revolted.
Pence did no such thing.
The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of protesters and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. After protesters started clashing with law enforcement following the Capitol breach, Trump tweeted to his supporters to ‘stay peaceful’