The scene in Washington, D.C. turned chaotic Wednesday as rioters demanding a second term for President Donald Trump despite his loss to Joe Biden stormed the Capitol building and entered the House chamber.
Members of Congress were supposed to be meeting to tally the Electoral College but instead an evacuation was ordered and the Capitol was placed on lockdown.
Pictures and videos on social media show thousands of rioters waiving flags, shouting profanities and acting violent toward Capitol police.
Police hold off Trump supporters who tried to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol 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. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Trump has asked his unruly supporters to “remain peaceful” and “support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement.” He has since called in the National Guard to quell the uprising and added that those found guilty of vandalizing or damaging federal buildings could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Florida lawmakers and other officials also took to Twitter and Facebook to express their thoughts on the situation. Most called the action of the rioters disgraceful and dangerous.
Read some of their comments below, presented in no particular order.
Rep. Val Demings
Democracy will win today. We are not scared and will do our part.— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) January 6, 2021
A mob storming the U.S. Capitol to overturn an election. A coup in progress. A dark day for America.— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) January 6, 2021
But this is what they always wanted. Don’t let them deny it.
They will lose. We will not be intimidated. Democracy will win.
Gov. Ron DeSantis
“Violence or rioting of any kind is unacceptable and the perpetrators must face the full weight of the law. The Capitol Police do an admirable job and I thank them for their hard work,” DeSantis said in a statement to the media.
Sen. Marco Rubio
Mr. President @realDonaldTrump the men & women of law enforcement are under assault. It is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 6, 2021
There is nothing patriotic about what is occurring on Capitol Hill. This is 3rd world style anti-American anarchy.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 6, 2021
Sen. Marco Rubio also voted against the objection to Joe Biden’s win in Arizona.
Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez
This lawlessness is abhorrent and disgusting. This is not who we are as a nation and does not represent our values. All engaging in violence must be apprehended and punished. I pray for the safety of our Capitol Police who are working tirelessly to ensure everyone is kept safe.— Congressman Carlos A. Gimenez (@RepCarlos) January 6, 2021
Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith
MAGA anarchists stirred up by Trump & his GOP traitors breached the Capitol & are actively trying to overthrow our government. Armed standoff outside the House floor. Congress on lockdown. What a disgraceful end to the Trump presidency as the world watches. A sad day for America. pic.twitter.com/mnmIeP2Rkz— Rep. Carlos G Smith (@CarlosGSmith) January 6, 2021
Rep. Anna Eskamani
Welcome to Trump’s America. He encourages this behavior and every Republican voting with him today should be ashamed. https://t.co/Je9lzLNkxe— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) January 6, 2021
Hey @GovRonDeSantis, do you have any comments to the lack of “law and order” in the US Capitol leading to people being evacuated because of hostile Trump supporters or no?— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) January 6, 2021
Asking for millions of Floridians.
Rep. Matt Gaetz
Sen. Rick Scott
Everyone has a right to peacefully protest. No one has a right to commit violence. What happened today at the Capitol is disgraceful and un-American. It is not what our country stands for.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) January 6, 2021
Rep. Anthony Sabatini
How interesting that the hack Media, the entire Left, and the Romney types are just now speaking up for law, order, and peace— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) January 6, 2021
Where were they last year when BLM, Antifa and Leftists violently attacked our nation’s cities?
They stood SILENT
Biggest hypocrisy I’ve ever witnessed
Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon
I condemn the actions of those that have stormed the Capitol building. This is an unprecedented situation for our nation & a dark day for democracy. Pray for the @CapitolPolice, fellow law enforcement called upon to assist, & everyone sheltering in place. https://t.co/cZ9rDdJwZP— Chief Orlando Rolón (@OrlandoPDChief) January 6, 2021
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood
I'm imploring President Trump to do all he can - appear on TV, speak directly to the mob - to put an end to this lawless attack on our democracy before innocent people lose their lives— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) January 6, 2021
Florida Sen. Linda Stewart
This is a very sad and dangerous day for our country. This is not democracy. This is not feee speech. This is un-American. Hoping for a peaceful resolution!🙏 pic.twitter.com/k21pyMvemO— Linda Stewart (@LindaStewartFL) January 6, 2021
Florida Sen. Jason Brodeur
Rioting of any kind is unacceptable in our democratic society. I condemn these violent protestors who are trying to make a mockery out of our American institutions— Jason Brodeur (@jasonbrodeur) January 6, 2021
Florida Sen. Debbie Mayfield
Every American has the right to peacefully protest. However, the violent attacks on law enforcement and the destruction of our Capital is unacceptable. This is unamerican and I condemn these violent acts.— Debbie Mayfield (@debbie_mayfield) January 6, 2021
Rep. Charlie Crist
The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a President. It's time to remove the President.— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) January 6, 2021
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried
The radical attempted overthrow of the U.S. Capitol, the attacks on Capitol Police officers, and the violent threats against those who swore oaths to uphold our Constitution are direct results of the President urging right-wing agitators to "stand back and stand by." Statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Kc2TDZelIV— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) January 6, 2021
Rep. Stephanie Murphy
The U.S. saved my family from tyranny. I love it beyond words. Violent rioters desecrating the symbol of our great Republic & obstructing democracy is a seditious assault on our nation. Congress should immediately resume work. I for one will never back down in defending America.— Rep. Stephanie Murphy (@RepStephMurphy) January 6, 2021
Rep. Greg Steube
The violence and lawlessness we saw today was completely unacceptable. As a nation, we must do better. pic.twitter.com/rBPwubP62n— Congressman Greg Steube (@RepGregSteube) January 6, 2021
Rep. Bill Posey
“America has always been first, and foremost, about the rule of law, and that must be respected. I’m disappointed that today’s Congressional proceedings over counting and challenging electoral votes were disrupted by a small number of individuals who breached Capitol security. I’m grateful to our law enforcement for their courage in protecting the Capitol Building, and the public, and urge everyone to respect their authority. I share the frustration of many Americans who do not feel they are being treated fairly, but we can and should do better,” U.S. Rep. Bill Posey said in a statement.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
The President has provoked the disgusting events at the Capitol today. He has gone from creating chaos to inciting insurrection. Mr. President, accept your defeat, go home to Florida and let our elected officials do their jobs and rebuild confidence in our democracy.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) January 7, 2021
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
“We saw peaceful protests in our community, peaceful demonstrations with people marching around with signs and that I would characterize as protesting or demonstrating. Breaking windows and using physical force to overrun the Capitol of the United States is not peaceful demonstrating or peaceful protesting. They’re a mob, I would go so far as to label them as domestic terrorists. There’s cameras there, there’s a lot of people that should be arrested for what they did today,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said during an Orange County coronavirus news briefing Wednesday afternoon. “We’ve been here for the last hour and a half, so I don’t know what’s played out, but as I was arriving [at the news conference], the President was finally at least asking them to leave the Capitol and go home. But he was continuing to press issues that would simply inflame the mob more so I don’t know whether that helped in any way. So I don’t know if they’ve left the Capitol, they’ve been able to clear it. The National Guard was on their way there when we came in here today. But I wouldn’t expect any American to have had the conduct that they had today.”
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings
“I just happen to have been in Washington, D.C. over the weekend and I flew back here on Monday evening. And before I left, I saw the gatherings began there in Washington at the Capitol. And so I know from that point, based upon my training and experience, [emergency management officials in the nation’s capital] should have been proactive. However, I think what perhaps was not expected that complicated the people who were there freely expressing their First Amendment right was the president. The President’s comments today. Even though I was busy today I had the opportunity to, to see and hear some of the comments and the situation that was unfolding. And those of us in leadership roles, we have a moral responsibility, or ethical responsibility, to ensure that the words that we use are words that unite us, not divide us. We have a responsibility to ensure that we do not inadvertently incite public disorder or violence. And I’m disappointed as an American, I’m an American first, I’m a Floridian second, and I’m a lifelong resident of Orange County. I’m just expressing my opinion, regardless of my political affiliation. I was disappointed. like I know many other Americans were in the speech that was given by the President of the United States, arguably the most powerful individual in the free world did not exhibit the attributes of what I expect and I believe most of us expect out of a sitting president to to unite us. We are, indeed, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. And if you believe that, regardless of how you get elected, where you stand, once you get in office, you represent all people, as Orange County mayor. I do not make my decision based upon whether somebody is a D or an R, you won’t ever hear me do that. And so I don’t have that expectation out of any other elected person or leader in our great nation,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said during a coronavirus news briefing that took place in Central Florida while the situation was unfolding in the capital.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina
Orange County Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins
I am disheartened to see the events that took place in our nation’s capital today. Please help us emphasize the importance of tolerance, civility and democracy to our children, who are the promise of a brighter future for us all. pic.twitter.com/MxiBKU0zcv— Dr. Barbara Jenkins (@SuptJenkins) January 7, 2021