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(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 21:30

Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot


Live Reporting

from the BBC's Tom Geoghegan, Max Matza, Mal Siret and Sam Cabral

What's happened today?

If you're just joining our live coverage, here's a quick recap of the main stories so far today:


18:53

What's going on in Congress right now?

Quite a lot.
Inside the US Capitol, lawmakers have convened for a special session to affirm the 2020 election results - counting and confirming electoral college votes.
The electoral college, the system used to select the US president, has already certified Biden's victory.
Today's proceedings to formally select the president are usually brief and ceremonial. But it is unusually controversial this year, with some Republicans loyal to Trump promising to overturn the result by formally objecting at the session.
Already, Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Paul Gosar have contested electoral votes cast by Arizona for Joe Biden. Several more objections are expected to follow.
Still, this bid is almost certain to fail and Biden will be one step closer to assuming the presidency and being sworn in on 20 January.
Read more about how this process works

Armed Trump supporters march in Atlanta

The BBC's Hadi Nili is in Atlanta, Georgia, where armed protesters are marching to the state's capitol building in protest against the election results there, and in support of Donald Trump.
In Washington DC, where Trump is speaking, protesters are banned from carrying firearms. Despite the city's laws, several people at Trump's "Save America" rally have already been arrested on gun charges.
But in Georgia, supporters are permitted to openly carry weapons.

Mitch McConnell rebukes efforts to overturn the election

As Republicans in Congress push forward with an attempt to block the certification of election results, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell condemned his colleagues and warned they could "damage our Republic forever".
Speaking directly to his party members on the Senate floor, McConnell urged them to reconsider their actions: "If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral."
"The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken," he said, pointing out none of the allegations posed by lawmakers could change the result - Joe Biden's victory.
"We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids."
The challenge to the election results is not likely to succeed, but it will prolong matters in the chamber.

19:23

Breaking News

Capitol Hill on lockdown as tensions escalate


Capitol Police have put the US Capitol Building on lockdown amid violent clashes between police and Trump supporters, gathered to protest the 2020 election results.
Footage shows demonstrators swarming the Capitol building, breaking the temporary barrier that had been put in place ahead of today's events. US media describe some protesters climbing on parts of the Capitol building, attempting to get inside.

Breaking News 

Protesters break into US Capitol

Chaos has broken out within the US Capitol as pro-Trump supporters break into the building.
The ongoing special House and Senate sessions have been recessed amid the escalating clashes between protesters and police.
Lawmakers had gathered to confirm the election of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden - an outcome rejected by protesters.
Photos show demonstrators gathered just outside the Senate chamber. Other images show demonstrators carrying firearms.

19:47

President Trump asks protesters to 'stay peaceful'

As his supporters storm into the US Capitol in quickly-escalating protests, Donald Trump has broken his silence and tweeted for demonstrators to "support Capitol Police and Law Enforcement".
"They are truly on the side of our country," he wrote. "Stay peaceful!"
US media report that tear gas has now been used inside the Capitol building as a growing number of demonstrators enter the building.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered a citywide curfew beginning at 1800 EST.

Senate debate halted

Both chambers of US Congress abruptly stopped proceedings as they were debating November's election results.

In pictures - Protesters descend upon US Capitol


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Accounts from inside the US Capitol

Lawmakers and reporters inside the building say they have been asked to evacuate, shelter in place and put on gas masks.

Tweet  Rep. Elaine Luria:
I just had to evacuate my office because of a pipe bomb reported outside. Supporters of the President are trying to force their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sounds like multiple gunshots. (1/2)[

Matt Fuller:
They're slamming on the doors. Everyone has gas masks. I can see some flashes outside the chambers.

Rep. Dean Phillips:
They’ve asked us to take cover on the House floor and get our gas masks ready. This is insane.

Tweet  Olivia Beavers:
We have now received these
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'This is tragic to watch'

Our senior reporters in the US have given some instant analysis of the incredible scenes unfolding in Washington right now.

Nick Bryant:
This is inside the US Capitol. Started covering Washington in the Nineties. I have never seen anything even close to this. This is tragic to watch.
Were this a different country on a different continent, we would be talking of a failed state.

Jon Sopel:
Today was being billed as a theatrical side show. It seems a little more worrying than that, given the scenes unfolding outside Congress

Rep. Elaine Luria:
I just had to evacuate my office because of a pipe bomb reported outside. Supporters of the President are trying to force their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sounds like multiple gunshots.

Katty Kay:
Just spoke to one member of Congress who is sheltering in his office with staffers and has been told to stay locked in. In 20 years covering US politics I have never seen scenes like this.
These scenes are playing out around the world. America's allies and adversaries are watching.


Why are protesters storming the US Capitol?


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Trump addressed the crowd about an hour before the chaos began

After a summer of protests against coronavirus lockdown measures, including in Michigan where armed militia members stormed the state capitol, we're now seeing similar scenes playing out in Washington DC.
While both chambers of the US Congress were meeting on Wednesday to certify Democrat Joe Biden's win over Donald Trump, the proceedings were interrupted by police clashes with rioters in adjoining corridors.
Trump has for weeks claimed to have been the true winner, saying without evidence that the votes cast for Biden in crucial swing states were fraudulent.
He and his supporters have been pressing Vice-President Mike Pence to overturn the election result by refusing to certify Biden's win, something that experts agree he does not have the legal power to do.
In the days leading up to the certification, Trump said that he would attend the "Save America" rally happening in Washington on Wednesday, promising on Twitter that it would be "very big" and "wild".
About an hour after Trump addressed thousands on the National Mall, promising to "never concede" that he had lost, chaos was unleashed.
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 21:43

20:24

'We want Trump' rings out in Capitol corridors


Protesters have continued to swarm the Capitol, some posing for photos in the Capitol rotunda.
Chants of "We Want Trump" echo through the hallways as press and lawmakers are taken to an undisclosed location for safety.

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20:29

Law enforcement 'stretched thin'


Capitol Hill police are calling for reinforcements as the violence continues at the Capitol.
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security said members of the US Secret Service and the Federal Protective Service are currently meeting calls to provide assistance.
The Department of Defense has not yet decided to deploy the National Guard to back up law enforcement on the scene.
Protesters who have stormed the US Capitol are trespassing on federal property and may face charges.

20:30

'Not what a peaceful transition looks like'

Laura Trevelyan - BBC World News America presenter, Capitol Hill

Sirens are wailing outside Capitol Hill, and police are swarming everywhere - camouflaged tactical officers are the latest to arrive.
Trump protesters are on the steps of the Capitol Hill rotunda, and some are on the balcony, waving flags and shouting "USA" and chanting "stop the steal".
It’s a tense and volatile atmosphere, and not what a peaceful transfer of power looks like.

20:30

'No violence!' - Trump issues second appeal to his supporters


Trump has just tweeted another message to protesters who have stormed the US Capitol, saying: "No violence!"

20:37

Guns drawn in the Senate chamber


Capitol police have detained some protesters as they continue to storm the building.
Some demonstrators have broken into the Senate chamber, climbing on the side of the walls as police drew their weapons.

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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 21:46

20:45

VP Pence calls for end to violence


The vice-president has asked Trump supporters to leave the Capitol and stop the violence.
"This attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Mike Pence tweeted.
Pence, who has insisted he cannot overturn the results of the election despite pressure for the president, was presiding over the electoral college vote when protesters stormed the building and he was shepherded to safety.

20:52

Trump press secretary says National Guard called


The National Guard has been called, at President Trump's request, says the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
The president previously tweeted at his supporters to remain peaceful after riling up the same crowd in a rally this morning.

21:08

What are the rioters doing?


Pictures from the scene show protesters, a few of them armed, marching through the halls of Congress.
Reports say that a fire extinguisher was set off and a woman was shot inside the building. The seriousness of her injuries is not known.

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Nearly all of those protesting in Washington are holding signs or flags bearing Trump's name, or wearing pro-Trump merchandise.
Some have been seen wearing outfits that promote the QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims that Trump is working to bust a secret ring of paedophile elites.
A few Confederate flags have been spotted as well. To remind you, the Confederacy is the rebellion that sought to secede from the United States in the 1860s, and fought to preserve the legal right to own slaves.
Some protesters are wearing body armour and tactical gear, and have been seen engaging in violent clashes with police.
What is QAnon?

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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 21:58

21:17
Breaking News

President-elect Biden calls on Trump to 'end this seige'

President-elect Joe Biden is addressing the nation from Wilmington, Delaware, calling on the pro-Trump "mob" to "pull back and allow the work of democracy to move forward".
"It's not a protest, it's an insurrection," Biden says, asking Donald Trump to "step up", go on television and "demand an end to this siege".
"Enough is enough," he says.

21:19

Ignoring calls for calm, rioters continue to run amok


A pro-Trump protester is pictured making himself at home in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

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Members of Congress run for cover as protesters attempt to enter the House Chamber

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Elsewhere, police in Washington DC use tear gas in an attempt to disarm demonstrators, who so far appear to be ignoring calls for peace from US officials.

21:27

'Siege mentality' sets in as night begins to fall

Laura Trevelyan - BBC World News America presenter, Capitol Hill

On the steps of Capitol Hill, hundreds of loyal Trump supporters are packed closely together, as nearby armed police officers keep a watchful eye.
The mood here is tense and defiant.
"We're not [expletive] Antifa!" one man screams at the police, referring to the loose coalition of "anti-fascist" activists that oppose Trump.
Trump loyalists near him wave placards that say "show us the ballots".
"All we want is for the Capitol police to stand down, and surrender the building to us," says one man to news cameras, as he is filmed by other Trump supporters.
The conviction here is that the election was stolen from President Trump, and the lawmakers inside the building should do their duty and somehow award the election to him.
Never mind that election officials have certified the results and the courts have thrown out Trump campaign lawsuits alleging fraud because there's no evidence.
It's a siege mentality here, as word spreads through the crowd that the National Guard are on their way to the US Capitol building.

21:32

'You have to go home now' - Trump


Donald Trump has shared a new video, just minutes after President-elect Joe Biden called on him to address the nation and put a halt to the pro-Trump protests occurring in Washington DC and around the country.
"I know your pain. I know your hurt," says Trump, again falsely claiming that the election was "stolen".
"Everyone knows it. Especially the other side. But you have to go home now."
Borrowing one of his own campaign slogans, he adds: "We have to have peace. We have to have law and order.
"This was a fraudulent election but we can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace."
Trump's election fraud claims fact-checked

21:35

The facts about the 2020 election


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Trump protesters call for Americans to "stop the steal"

This is probably a good time to go over the facts of the election results, contrary to what President Trump has just repeated on video.

  • Democrat Joe Biden won 306 votes to Trump's 232 in the US electoral college, which confirms the US president. Biden far exceeded the 270 needed to win the presidency
  • In the popular vote, Biden secured at least seven million more ballots than Trump
  • The Trump campaign has filed nearly three dozen lawsuits challenging the election results. They have all proved fruitless.
  • Trump appointee Attorney General William Barr, who resigned in December, said last month that his justice department had found no proof to back Trump's comments relating to election fraud


21:46

Biden: 'This is not dissent, this is chaos'


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President-elect Joe Biden has called on President Donald Trump to "fulfil his oath and defend the Constitution - and demand an end to this siege".
"The attack on the Capitol is not a protest, it's an insurrection," he said.
The escalating unrest put an abrupt halt to a joint session of Congress scheduled to certify Biden's election win as the next president.
"Democracy is fragile," said Biden. "To preserve it requires leaders who are devoted not in personal power, but in the common good."

21:48

How did we get here?


If you're just joining our live coverage, here's how the day unfolded:

  • It began with good news for Democrats as they looked poised to take control of the US Senate with two projected wins in Georgia
  • President Donald Trump addressed supporters in Washington DC, saying he would "never concede" and that now was not the time for "weakness"
  • As Trump wrapped up his speech, Congress convened a joint session to certify the results of the 2020 election - and Joe Biden's win. It is the final step before Biden's inauguration as the 46th president on 20 January
  • Seeking to disrupt the proceedings in Congress, a large group of pro-Trump supporters breached barricades, scaled walls and forced lawmakers to evacuate the premises. The violence has continued for hours.
  • The DC National Guard has been deployed to the Capitol, to back up law enforcement at the scene.


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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 22:03

Summary



  • Protesters swarm the Capitol building and force a lockdown, halting debate in House and Senate
  • Chants of 'We Want Trump' echoed through the hallways as press and lawmakers were taken to an undisclosed location
  • The National Guard was called to provide additional security amid calls for protests to remain peaceful
  • Congress was meeting to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory
  • It came after Trump addressed thousands of supporters in Washington DC and said 'we will never concede'
  • Some Republicans are trying to overturn the results in some states but lack sufficient support
  • Vice-President Mike Pence says he will not block the certification of Biden as president-elect, despite demands from Trump
  • Trump spoke earlier as his party appeared to be losing their grip on the Senate as Democrats remain ahead in Georgia's second runoff race
  • As the first black Senator from Georgia, Democrat Raphael Warnock's win is historic, but Democrats still need to win the second race
  • If they do, they will control the US Senate, and it will be easier for President-elect Biden to enact his agenda
  • Democrat Jon Ossoff has claimed victory over Republican David Perdue in Georgia, but it’s still too close to call
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 22:06

22:02

UK PM Johnson decries 'disgraceful scenes'

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to Twitter a short while ago to decry the scenes from Washington DC and reiterate calls for a peaceful transfer of power in the US.

Tweet  Boris Johnson:

Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. 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.
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 22:25

At least one person shot at Capitol riot


One person has been shot during violent protests inside the US Capitol, according to the Associated Press.
Lindsay Watts, a reporter with a Fox News affiliate, tweeted that DC paramedics said resuscitation efforts were under way.
News that a woman was in a critical condition after being shot in the chest was also reported by CNN.
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 22:41

Foreign leaders condemn 'attack on democracy'

In addition to Boris Johnson, other world leaders are weighing in on the latest disruptions to the US electoral process.
Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne tweeted: "Canada is deeply shocked by the situation in Washington DC. The peaceful transition of power is fundamental to democracy - it must continue and it will. We are following developments closely and our thoughts are with the American people."
In a statement, the French foreign ministry condemned the protests as a "serious attack on democracy".
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted: "Horrible images from Washington DC. Dear @realDonaldTrump, recognise @JoeBiden as the next president today."
President of the European Council Charles Michel tweeted: "The US Congress is a temple of democracy. To witness tonight’' scenes in #WashingtonDC is a shock. We trust the US to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to @JoeBiden".
The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, added: "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."
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 22:46

22:39
Breaking News

US Capitol building now secure, say US officials

US officials have announced that the Capitol Building is now secure.
Reporters inside the Capitol say lawmakers applauded as the Sergeant at Arms conveyed the news.
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 23:02

22:57

Attacks on media as protests continue


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Earlier this evening, rioters destroyed camera equipment set up by media reporters just outside the Capitol.
As the crowds moved out of the Capitol Hill area, reporters have documented protesters charging the media and levying verbal attacks.
On CNN's broadcast, protesters could be heard using foul language and criticising journalists as reporting "fake news".

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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 23:05

Breaking News

Washington DC enters curfew

The capital city in the US, after hours of violence at the heart of its government, has just started its citywide curfew.
The local time is 18:00 EST and it's in effect until Thursday morning.

23:02

What's the latest on the ground?


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The chaos continues in Washington DC.
Police moved into the Capitol ahead of the citywide curfew. US media report that police are pushing rioters away from the Capitol building, using flashbangs to try to move the crowd back.
The DC National Guard has already been deployed and Mayor Muriel Bowser has called on neighbouring states Virginia and Maryland to send in their troops for additional backup.
"They need to start backing up right now," Bowser tells CNN, saying that authorities will be on the street to enforce the curfew.
Inside the Capitol, lawmakers have resumed the special Congressional session meant to confirm the presidential election results, and Joe Biden's win. Speaking in the Senate, Republican Senator Ben Sasse blamed Donald Trump specifically for today's unrest.
"This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division,” Sasse said.
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 23:16

23:10

Electoral College ballots 'rescued'


On 14 December, members of the electoral college sent off their votes in sealed certificates to Congress from across the country.
On 6 January, these certificates entered the Capitol in ceremonial mahogany ballot boxes, which have been used since 1877.
Congress' counting of those electoral votes was halted amid chaos earlier today as police evacuated lawmakers as pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the Capitol.
One senator - Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley - said on Twitter some staff scrambled to "rescue" those mahogany boxes as they left the Senate floor.
Once the work of Congress is done after each election, those certificates are preserved. They are made available for public review for a year at the Office of the Federal Registrar, then transferred to the National Archives.
Read more about the process of counting the electoral votes here

Tweet  Senator Jeff Merkley:

Electoral college ballots rescued from the Senate floor. If our capable floor staff hadn’t grabbed them, they would have been burned by the mob.

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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 23:19

Breaking News 

Woman shot in Capitol riot has died

Police have confirmed that a woman who was shot earlier during the Capitol riots has died due to her injuries.
She has not yet been named by officials, but police earlier said she was a civilian.
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 06 2021, 23:29

23:27

Thirteen arrests, five weapons seized so far


At least 13 individuals have been arrested during the riots on Capitol Hill.
Washington DC Metropolitan Police said five guns, including handguns and long guns, have also been seized.
Police Chief Robert Contee told reporters all of the arrests involved people who do not live in the DC area.
He also said some officers are being treated for injuries.
Police are currently moving protesters away from the Capitol. The citywide curfew began at 18:00 local time.
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Post by Kitkat Thu Jan 07 2021, 00:08

Congress will return tonight

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has announced that lawmakers will return to continue the vote count tonight.
She said after consulting with other Democratic leaders, and "calls to the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the Vice President, we have decided we should proceed tonight at the Capitol once it is cleared for use

Former President George W Bush condemns today's 'insurrection'


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Former President George W Bush has issued a statement on the "scenes of mayhem" unfolding in the US Capitol.
"It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight," the Republican wrote.
"This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic."
Bush continued, saying that he was "appalled by the reckless behaviour of some political leaders" since the presidential election, but stopped short of calling out President Trump or his supporters by name.
In his own statement Republican Senator Mitt Romney went a step further, condemning today's "insurrection, incited by the President of the United States".
Those who support Trump, Romney wrote, "will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy".
President Trump has yet to condemn the rioters who broke in to the Capitol building but has asked people to remain peaceful.

'We will now be part of history'


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We've just learned that the US Senate is expected to reconvene this evening, at 20:00 local time (01:00GMT), according to Democrat Chuck Schumer.
Here's more from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's announcement that lawmakers would return to work this evening.
In her statement, Pelosi called the attack on the Capitol a "shameful assault" on democracy. "It cannot, however, deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden."
"The night may still be long but we are hopeful for a shorter agenda, but our purpose will be accomplished," the most powerful Democrat in Washington said.
"We also knew that we would be a part of history in a positive way, today, despite ill-founded objections to the Electoral College vote.
"We now will be part of history, as such a shameful picture of our country was put out to the world, instigated at the highest level."
Pelosi's office was vandalised during the mob attack. One protester was seen carrying her lectern through the Capitol.

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Protester with the Speaker's lectern


00:00

Over 2,700 troops to be deployed in nation's capital

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The crowds have begun to disperse near the Capitol as National Guard troops from the DC region have been deployed.
There are around 2,700 DC Army and Air National Guard troops mobilised and an additional 650 from Virginia, a Guard spokesman said.


Breaking News 

Twitter locks President Trump's account

Twitter has just announced President Donald Trump's account will be locked for the next 12 hours due to his tweets about the election earlier today.
"As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, DC, we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy," the social platform said.
If Trump does not remove the three tweets in violation, the account will remain locked.
Twitter also warned that future violations of integrity or threat policies "will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account".
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Post by Kitkat Thu Jan 07 2021, 04:54

Social media giants remove Trump video

James Clayton - North America technology reporter

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Donald Trump's message to protesters as they attacked the US Capitol has been taken down by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Trump had called for his supporters to go home, but also reiterated false claims about election fraud.
Facebook said: "We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."
Before the violence, President Trump had told supporters on the National Mall in Washington that the election had been stolen.
Hours later, as the violence mounted inside and outside the US Capitol, he appeared on video and repeated the false claim.
YouTube said it removed the video because it "violated policies on spreading election fraud".
Twitter initially didn't take down the video, removing the ability to retweet, like and comment on it and another tweet.
However, it later removed them.
Twitter said: "We have been significantly restricting engagement with Tweets labelled under our Civic Integrity Policy due to the risk of violence".
Facebook told the BBC: "The violent protests in the Capitol today are a disgrace. We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform. We are actively reviewing and removing any content that breaks these rules."
Facebook also said it is currently looking for and removing content that incited or supported the storming of Capitol Hill.
The march was partly organised online, including on Facebook groups and pages.
Read James' full analysis here.




Trump 'formed the mob, incited the mob, addressed the mob'

More Republicans are weighing in to condemn the attack - and the president's rhetoric.
North Carolina Senator Richard Burr placed the blame on Trump.
"The President bears responsibility for today’s events by promoting the unfounded conspiracy theories that have led to this point."
Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming also said there was "no question that the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob. He lit the flame."
Her fellow congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington State said she has now decided to vote to uphold Joe Biden's win, calling today's incidents "unlawful and unacceptable" as she urged Trump "to condemn and put an end to this madness".
Colorado's state Republican leadership also condemned the mob attack, "just as we condemned the actions of protesters at our own Colorado State Capitol this past spring" amid Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
And the national Republican Party communications director Michael Ahrens wrote on Twitter that the attack amounted to "domestic terrorism".
"Our soldiers have died carrying the American flag into battle for our freedom. To see that flag used in the name of unfounded conspiracy theories is a disgrace to the nation, and every decent American should be disgusted by it."




Obama, Clinton decry 'fantasy narrative' and 'poison politics'


(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot 244c8010

Former President Barack Obama said history would remember today's attack, "incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation".
"But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise," he added, saying the "fantasy narrative" of Republicans and their "accompanying media ecosystem" has misled their followers about the truth of the election.
"Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo."
Obama called on Republican leaders to "choose America", and said he was heartened to see many speak up today."Their voices add to the examples of Republican state and local election officials in states like Georgia who’ve refused to be intimidated and have discharged their duties honorably."
Former President Bill Clinton called the events an assault "fuelled by more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust...and putting Americans against one another".
"The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost," the Democrat said. "The election was free, the count was fair, the result is final."
Clinton added he believes America is made up of "good, decent people".
"If that’s who we really are, we must reject today’s violence, turn the page, and move forward together".




'Today was a dark day', says Pence

"Today was a dark day in the United States Capitol," says Vice-President Mike Pence as Senate returns.
Vice-President Pence's spokesman said earlier that Pence "never left the Capitol" during the attack.
The vice-president, who presides over the Senate, was in "regular contact" with Congressional leadership, police, and the departments of justice and defence to "secure the Capitol and reconvene Congress".
"And now we will finish the People's business."
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is also expected in the Senate, reporters say.




'You did not win. Violence never wins'

Mike Pence reconvenes Congress: 'Let's get back to work'
"To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win," Vice-President Mike Pence says.
"Violence never wins. Freedom wins and this is still the People's house. As we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy for even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism.
"The elected representatives of the people of the United States have assembled again."
Pence wraps up his address to a chorus of applause.




'We're gonna finish exactly what we started'


(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot D1291210
Mitch McConnell seen entering the Capitol

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell is speaking now.
He says the US Congress has faced down "much greater threats than the unhinged crowd" today.
"They tried to disrupt our democracy, they failed. They failed."
McConnell says the crucial task of formalising the next US president will be completed.
"We're gonna finish exactly what we started. We'll complete the process the right way by the book. We'll follow our precedents, our laws and our Constitution to the letter.
"And we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election."
He adds that the "American people deserve nothing less".
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Post by Kitkat Thu Jan 07 2021, 05:05

'A final, terrible, indelible legacy'

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer says "we can now add January 6 to the very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy".
"This temple to democracy was desecrated," he says. "The world saw Americans' elected officials hurriedly ushered out because they were in harm's way. the house and senate floors were places of shelter until the evacuation was ordered, leaving rioters to stalk these hallowed halls."
He also says they mourn the loss of life, as one woman was killed in the violence.
"This will be a stain on our country not so easily washed away. A final, terrible, indelible legacy of the 45th president of the United States - undoubtedly our worst."
Schumer adds that these attackers cannot be called protesters. They are "domestic terrorists" who "do not represent America", he says.
Schumer says that the counting of the votes will finish tonight, and all the attack accomplished was a delay of a few hours.




Neighbouring world leaders react

Global leaders have been expressing their shock over the attack in the US capital.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "Canadians are deeply disturbed" by the "attack on democracy".
Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez expressed his support for Joe Biden and condemned the "serious acts of violence".
President Ivan Duque of Colombia similarly rejected the violence and offered his support to members of Congress.
Chile's President Sebastian Pinera condemned "the actions seeking to alter the democratic process".
Read more: World leaders react to 'horrifying' scenes in Washington







The first attack since War of 1812


(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Db1d3110
The ruins of the Capitol following the British attack

Today's attack was the first time the US Capitol was broken into since the War of 1812, according to US Capitol Historical Society experts.
British troops, led by Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cockburn and Major General Robert Ross - set fire to the still-under-construction Capitol after invading DC in August 1814 (though the building survived thanks to a downpour).
In retaliation for the Americans' burning of Upper Canada's capital at York a year earlier, the British troops also set fire to other parts of the city, including the White House.
Canada did not exist at the time - it was made up of British colonies.
"The US Capitol is more than a building – it is the embodiment of American democracy and our way of life," the historical society said in a statement following the mob siege.
"We are a nation of laws, and the peaceful transfer of power is among the most fundamental hallmarks of our Constitutional republic."





Facebook joins Twitter in blocking Trump

Social media giant Facebook has also opted to bar President Trump from posting for the next 24 hours.
The company cited policy violations on the president's page.
Tweet  Facebook Newsroom:

We've assessed two policy violations against President Trump's Page which will result in a 24-hour feature block, meaning he will lose the ability to post on the platform during that time.





White House departures amid chaos

White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews has resigned from her post over the Capitol violence.
"I was honoured to serve in the Trump administration and proud of the policies we enacted," she said in a statement.
"As someone who worked in the halls of Congress, I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today."
Matthews said her resignation is effective immediately, adding: "Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power."
Earlier, First Lady Melania Trump's chief of staff and former Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham resigned amid the chaos. It was unclear whether the Capitol attack had anything to do with her departure.
"It has been an honour to serve the country in the White House," she tweeted. "I am very proud to have been a part of Mrs Trump’s mission to help children everywhere, and proud of the many accomplishments of this administration."




Republican lawmakers continue to speak out

"It was ugly today," said Republican Ben Sasse, Nebraska Senator, on the Senate floor.
"I don't think we want to tell our kids that America's best days are behind us because it's not true - that's not who we are."
He adds that the nation can't accomplish great things, like the moon landing, "if you hit your neighbours".
Republican Kelly Loeffler, who just lost her Georgia Senate race, also condemned the violence - and flipped her decision on ratifying Biden's win.
"I cannot now, in good conscience, object to the certification of these electors," Loeffler said.




Why are people talking about the 25th amendment?

There are murmurs within Trump's cabinet about potentially invoking the 25th amendment, the BBC's partner CBS News reports.
So what is it?
It's an amendment to the Constitution that says if the president is unable to perform his duties, the responsibility can be re-designated.
In this case, it would require a majority of cabinet leaders plus Vice-President Mike Pence to write to Congress' leaders and say Pence is becoming acting-president as Trump is unfit.
The 25th amendment has never been invoked since it was ratified in 1967.
Nothing has been formally presented to Pence at the moment.
Some have already called on Pence to trigger the 25th, accusing Trump of inciting of violence, including the National Association of Manufactures chief, the head of the NAACP and Vermont's Republican governor.




'I have no tea to throw in Boston harbour tonight'

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth delivered an emotional speech tonight.
An ex-army pilot who had both her legs amputated after crashing in Iraq in 2004, Duckworth urged her colleagues to ask themselves if it was worth damaging this democracy to protect Trump.
"I have no tea to throw in Boston harbour tonight," she said.
"And I regret that I have no rucksack to pack for my country, no Blackhawk to pilot ... nor am I asking for any grand gesture from my Republican colleagues."


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Post by Kitkat Thu Jan 07 2021, 05:27

When a mob stormed the US Capitol

A lot has happened today.
Here's a look back at how it all unfolded.

(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot 257bf110

The mob entered the Capitol at the East Entrance, though protesters had gathered on both sides.
Trump had earlier given his speech before the White House.

(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot 923e7c10





Arizona objection fails Senate

The objection to Arizona's results has failed, with just six Republicans (including Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley) voting in favour of it, and 93 against.
"The objection is not sustained," says Vice-President Pence.
Now, the Senate must wait for the House to knock down the objection in a vote, too.
Republican Senate leader McConnell says they expect the House's vote to finish between 22:30 and midnight.
Then, the lawmakers will all reconvene and continue to count the states' votes.




Senator Graham: 'Enough is enough'

Trump loyalist Lindsey Graham has reaffirmed Biden's win.
"Count me out, enough is enough," the South Carolina senator said.
"Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and vice-president of the United States on January the 20th," he added, after an emphatic speech decrying the violence.




'Tell Trump voters the truth'

"The best way we can show respect for the voters who were upset is by telling the truth," Mitt Romney, the Republican party’s 2012 presidential nominee, said on the Senate floor.
"The truth is that President-elect Biden won the election. President Trump lost. I’ve had that experience myself," Romney said. "It’s no fun!"
Just ahead of Romney's speech, a picture of his intense stare during fellow Republican Josh Hawley's remarks went viral on Twitter.
Hawley is among the six Senators who voted in favour of the Arizona vote objection, and he has continued to question the integrity of the presidential election.
Tweet  ian bremmer:

Romney appropriately incensed w Hawley.

(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Erghcg10

3:35

What exactly is going on right now?


At the moment, we're watching as lawmakers continue the process of certifying the Electoral College vote from the states. Biden won with 306 to Trump's 232.
The number of votes is read out state by state. If any objections are raised by both a member of the Senate and the House, then the lawmakers separate into their respective chambers and debate the matter for two hours before deciding whether or not to uphold it.
We just saw the Senate reject the objection to Arizona's vote and we expect the House to do the same in the next hour or so.
Remember, for a state's electoral votes to be tossed out, majorities in both the House and Senate must vote to do so. With more Republicans changing attitudes in the wake of today's attack, plus the House in control of the Democrats, this is all but impossible.
Want to know more about the process? Check out our explainer here: Can rebel Republicans overturn the election?




Politics has made us crazy'

Florida Senator Marco Rubio says he grew up among people who came to the US because their country was chaotic, just like the scene that played out today.
The Republican adds that rivals like Russia and China are laughing at America today, and will use the incident to suggest America is in decline.
"There's nothing Vladimir Putin could have come up with better than what happened here. It makes us look like we're in total chaos and collapse."
"I think politics has made us crazy!” he adds. "Everybody in this country has lost their minds!"




4:01

DC extends public emergency


The mayor of the US capital city has extended a public emergency for 15 days until after inauguration day.
"Many persons came to the District armed and for the purpose of engaging in violence and destruction and have engaged in violence and destruction. They have fired chemical irritants, bricks, bottles and guns," Mayor Muriel Bowser said.
"Their motivation is ongoing."
The declaration will allow the city to draw upon additional resources to protect residents, like enforcing curfews, expanding emergency services or distributing necessities.
The order lasts until 15:00 on 21 January, the day after Biden will be sworn in.
The city is already under curfew declared by the mayor from 18:00 on Wednesday to 06:00 (23:00 to 11:00 GMT), though dozens of people have been arrested for violating the order.
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Post by Kitkat Thu Jan 07 2021, 05:34

Woman shot at Capitol is 'military veteran'

US media are reporting the woman shot and killed during the storming of the Capitol was San Diego resident Ashli Babbitt. A US Air Force veteran, she is thought to have been shot after entering the building alongside other rioters.
US broadcaster Fox5 spoke to the woman's mother-in-law who said Babbitt had been a Trump supporter.
She is thought to have been shot at around 15:00 Washington time, and was rushed to hospital but later pronounced dead.




Four people died at Capitol

Washington DC police say four people have died during the storming of the Capitol building.
In addition to the woman shot by police, three others died as a result of "medical emergencies".
So far, more than 52 people have been arrested - 47 of them for curfew violations.




More details on deaths at Capitol

DC Mayor Bowser and police chief Robert Contee just held a presser about the Capitol Hill protest.
They said the woman who was shot was part of a group of multiple individuals that forced entry into the House room that was still in session.
They were confronted by plainclothes officers, and an officer pulled out a weapon and fired it.
The woman was taken to hospital and proclaimed dead. Her ID is being withheld by authorities until next of kin are notified.
They said of the three other deaths today at the Capitol grounds, one was an adult female and two were adult males. All three involved unspecified, separate medical emergencies.
At least 14 members of the Metro police department were injured. Two were admitted to hospital, one with serious injuries after being dragged into the crowd, and the other was hit by a projectile in the face.




4:58

Heavy police presence across DC


(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot E3c3e310

Police officers in riot gear continue to guard the streets around the Capitol. Washington's mayor has issued an overnight curfew.
The DC police chief says as of 21:30 local time they had made 52 arrests, 4 for carrying pistols without licences, 1 for carrying prohibited weapons, 47 for curfew violations and unlawful entry.
Two pipe bombs have been recovered, one from the Democratic National Committee offices, not far from the Capitol, and one from the nearby Republican National Committee headquarters.

(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot 166b4610

Applause in Senate as objections rejected

Applause has just rippled across the Senate floor as three Republican objections to the presidential election results were dismissed by Pence because no senator had signed on, a procedural requirement.
One challenge was presented by Jody Hice, a congressman who was just elected to his home state of Georgia in November.
Another Georgia representative, Marjorie Taylor Greene, objected in vain to Michigan's electoral votes. The newly elected congresswoman has in the past expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory.
The third challenge to be dismissed was brought forward by Alabama congressman Mo Brooks, who was objecting to the results in Nevada.

5:24
Breaking News 

Pennsylvania challenge proceeds

An objection to the election results in Pennsylvania does have a senator’s signature.
Josh Hawley, of Missouri, has put his name to the House Republicans' challenge.
The House and Senate must now separate for up to two hours of debate, though both chambers are ultimately expected to dismiss the objection.

Tweet  CBS News:

BREAKING: Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) joins House GOP objections to Pennsylvania's electoral votes, forcing two more hours of debate https://cbsnews.com/live-updates/e
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Post by Kitkat Thu Jan 07 2021, 05:54

Breaking News 

Senate rejects Pennsylvania objection

The objection to certifying Biden's win in Pennsylvania has just been rejected by the Senate 92-7.
Senate leader Mitch McConnell moved to end debate on the matter after Senator Hawley yielded his time, sparing everyone in the upper chamber a two-hour discussion.
McConnell says he does not expect any more challenges to the election results tonight.
But over in the House, lawmakers are continuing to debate the objection.

'Stop trampling on democracy'

Reactions to the stunning scenes from Washington continue to stream in from around the globe.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “distressed to see news about rioting and violence” in Washington and urged the “peaceful transfer of power must continue”.
New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern tweeted that "democracy - the right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully - should never be undone by a mob".
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also called on Trump supporters to "stop trampling on democracy".
"The enemies of democracy will be pleased to see these incredible images from Washington DC. Inflammatory words turn into violent actions."

Tweet  Narendra Modi:

Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.
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(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Empty Could Donald Trump escape to Ireland to avoid Joe Biden’s inauguration?

Post by Kitkat Thu Jan 07 2021, 12:55

The end is nigh for Donald Trump in the White House but the outgoing President could yet be set for final sojourn as the leader of the free world.
Jack Beresford - Irish Post

According to the Sunday Post, Trump has set plans in motion to jet off on January 19, just one day shy of Joe Biden’s inauguration as US President.
The report claimed Trump is considering travelling to his golf and hotel resort in Turnberry over in Scotland, in order to avoid seeing his Democrat rival sworn into office.
Officials at Prestwick Airport have been told to expect the arrival of a US military Boeing 757 aircraft on January 19.
This same type of aircraft was previously used to transport the President over to Turnberry as part of a whistle-stop visit of his hotel complex.

Unfortunately, however, those plans now appear to be on shaky ground after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that Trump would not be allowed to visit.
"We are not allowing people to come in to Scotland without an essential purpose right now and that would apply to him, just as it applies to anybody else,” she told reporters.
"Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose."

That rejection could yet pave the way for Trump to make a beeline for Ireland and the Doonbeg hotel and golf resort over in west County Clare.
Under the rules on incoming air passengers in Ireland, Trump only needs to provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of his departure date in order to be allowed into the country.
Given that the US President has already contracted and recovered from Covid-19, that should pose few problems.

The President has enjoyed something of a hero's welcome on each of his previous visits to the region – and it’s not difficult to see why.
The Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Doonbeg has consistently provided a major boost to the local economy, not least when the President used it to host a series of meetings with Irish political leaders a few years ago.
It’s estimated that the resort also accounts for somewhere in the region of 400 jobs for the local area – 300 at the resort and a further 100 in the local area.
Little wonder then that the majority of Doonbeg residents were rooting for Trump to win, despite Biden’s noted familial links to Ireland .
Local publican Tommy Tubridy, for instance, previously told the Irish Mirror of how he prayed for a Trump victory last year.
"He is a decent fella who has got a lot of negative press both here and in America. All the media is against him,” he said.
“All I know is the Trumps are decent and honourable people. His two sons Eric and Don Jnr are a credit to him and are in and out of here anytime they are in town.
“There is no nonsense with them. They are two down-to-earth boys who have supported everything in the community, from the GAA team to the drama festival.
“The people here love the Trump family.”

It’s this kind of response which could see the outgoing President opt to head over to Ireland, rather than Scotland.

And while golfing and other sporting activities may be prohibited, the fact Trump owns the golf course at Doonbeg could see him find a way to sidestep the rules – not for the first time either.

While reports of Trump’s possible escape to Scotland remain exactly that – reports – Ireland could yet prove to be a palatable alternative for a politician looking to escape reality.


Donald Trump finally admits his presidency is over and promises an orderly transition of power


Donald Trump has finally conceded defeat in the US election, over two months since the country went to the polls.


He released a statement saying that while he still disagrees with the result - again reiterating his claim that the election was stolen from him - he would commit to an "orderly transition" of power to Joe Biden's administration.
Mr Trump described his four years in office as "the greatest first time in presidential history".
"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th," Trump said in a statement shared by Dan Scavino, White House deputy chief of staff for communications.
"I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!"

It came just hours after a number of Trump supports stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden's election victory.
Four people are believed to have been killed during the riots, including one woman who was shot by police as she climbed through a window of the Capitol building.
At the time, Trump tweeted his supporters and encouraged them to "remain peaceful", but he was criticised for failing to condemn the storming of the Capitol building itself, and referring to the supports that did so as "heroes".
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Post by Kitkat Thu Jan 07 2021, 16:15

Shirtless tattooed man who stormed Capitol identified as Q-Anon conspiracy 'shaman'


One of the men who stormed the US Capitol yesterday evening has been identified as a prominent Q-Anon conspiracy supporter.

As hundreds rushed the Capitol building after gaining entry by breaking windows, images of the rioters began circulating on social media, with one man appearing in multiple photographs.
The shirtless, heavily tattooed man with a painted face and who carried an American flag and donned a horned fur hat has been identified as 32-year-old Jake Angeli, a Q-Anon 'shaman' who has been seen counter-protesting Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the past.
According to local outlet Arizona Central, Angeli is a native of Phoenix, AZ, and is a regular fixture at right-wing demonstrations, often holding signs claiming 'Q sent me'.

(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot GettyImages-1229483984
Jake Algin holds a QAnon sign, as he presents himself as a shamanist and consultant for the Trump supporters gathered in front of the Maricopa County Election Department where ballots are counted after the US presidential election in Phoenix, Arizona, on November 5, 2020. (Photo by OLIVIER TOURON / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER TOURON/AFP via Getty Images)

Q-Anon is a conspiracy which has gained a foothold in American politics in recent months, with supporters believing a wide range of baseless claims including that Donald Trump is waging a secret war against elite paedophile Satan-worshippers in Government and the media, including former Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
Angeli, who was pictured standing on the dais of the US senate holding a spear on which hung the American flag, previously told outlet The Arizona Republic that he dresses in his unique attire as a way to gain attention from people, who he can then speak to about the conspiracy.

(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot GettyImages-1294933284
The QAnon 'shaman' yells inside the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Disinformation about the mob of Trump supporters has already been spreading on social media, with thousands retweeting a claim that Angeli is an Antifa infiltrator who was present at the riot to make Trump supporters look bad.
These claims stem from a photograph of Angeli at a Black Lives Matter protest in the summer of 2020-- however the image being circulated is cropped, and does not show Angeli holding his 'Q Sent Me' sign; he was present at the march as a counter-protester.

Tweet  Bill Weir:

.@SarahPalinUSA and others on Fox News are floating disingenuous theories that this mob wasn't really Trump supporters but a false flag attack by BLM and Antifa. For that to be true, the guy in the horns is playing the long game because...

(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Eriqn-10

(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot ErIQTS_W4AUAABc?format=jpg&name=small

..we saw him agitating outside the Maricopa County ballot count in Arizona two months ago. He is Jake Angeli, aka the "Q Shaman"

(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot ErIS0FPXIAcqA_p?format=jpg&name=small

Reports from multiple outlets state that the 32-year-old once worked as an actor and musician but now spends his time as a Q-Anon 'influencer' known as the 'shaman' or 'Yellowstone Wolf'.
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Post by Kitkat Fri Jan 08 2021, 15:10

Nancy Pelosi says Congress will impeach Donald Trump if he isn't removed from office immediately


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned that Congress will impeach Donald Trump if the 25th Amendment is not invoked to remove him from office.

She's calling for the immediately removal of the President after a number of his supporters stormed the Capitol Building on Wednesday in a controversial attempt to stop Congress from confirming Joe Biden's election victory.

Pelosi said that Mr Trump had "incited an armed insurrection against America" and insisted that the he needed to be "contained" until he leaves office.

Many in the States are calling for the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution to be invoked, which would see power transferred from President Trump to Vice President Mike Pence.

It can happen if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet determine the president is "unable to discharge the powers and duties" of the office.

If the president opposes, Congress can order the transfer of power with a two-thirds vote in both chambers - the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Should it be invoked, Mr Pence would be acting president until January 20 when Mr Biden is officially inaugurated.

Tweet  MSNBC:

BREAKING: Speaker Pelosi calls for VP Pence and the Cabinet to remove President Trump from office via the 25th Amendment, or another impeachment effort may be carried out by Democrats.

Throughout Wednesday's Capitol Building saga, Trump was criticised for appearing to incite violence and egg on his supporters.

Despite urging them to "go home," he refused to condemn their actions and told them he "loved" them.

On Thursday, Mr Trump committed to an "orderly transition" of power to the Biden administration, but only after social media giants Twitter, Facebook and Instagram had temporarily suspended his accounts.

"These people and their leader Donald Trump do not care about the security of people, they don't care about our democracy, they don't care about the peaceful transfer of power. Something's very, very wrong here," Speaker Pelosi added.

"A threshold was crossed of such magnitude that there's no way this president should be allowed to make any decision.

"What's next? What happens today? Who knows? But what we do know is that he must be contained.

"The President is a very dangerous man ... we'll see what our options are. It's up to him if he wants to be doubly impeached."

Mr Trump was impeached by Congress in December 2019, but was acquitted in the Senate two months later.
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Post by Kitkat Fri Jan 08 2021, 15:15

Capitol police officer dies from injuries sustained during Trump riots

A police officer has passed away after sustaining catastrophic injuries during the chaos at the Capitol earlier this week.

On 6 January, hundreds of Trump supporters scaled walls and broke windows to gain entry to the Capitol, where Electoral Votes were being confirmed, in an attempt to stop Joe Biden from being elected.

Lawmakers were evacuated from the building, and photographs of the incident show rioters damaging property, occupying offices inside the building-- including that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Chamber itself-- and facing off against police.

The United States Capitol Police have now confirmed that one officer has died from injuries sustained during a physical engagement with the Trump mob.

The deceased officer has been named as Officer Brian D Sicknick, who joined the USCP in 2008.

(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Gettyi24
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Capitol Hill policemen arrive as crowds gather outside the U.S. Capitol for the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

"Officer Sicknick joined the USCP in July 2008, and most recently served in the Department’s First Responder’s Unit.

"The entire USCP Department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague."

The force asked that people respect the privacy of Officer Sicknick's family, and other USCP officers and their families privacy at this difficult time.

Officer Sicknick's death brings to five the number of people who were killed as a result of the riot on the Capitol.

A US Air Veteran was shot dead by police as she stormed the building, and three others died of 'separate medical emergencies' while on the grounds.
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(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Empty Donald Trump 'plans to pardon himself' before his presidency ends

Post by Kitkat Fri Jan 08 2021, 15:20

Donald Trump is reportedly planning to pardon himself during his final few days in office.

According to the New York Times , the President has asked his aides what consequences he might face - both legally and politically - should he decide to do so.
It isn't known whether he has broached the idea with his aides before or after hundreds of his supporters stormed the Capitol Building on Wednesday in an attempt to stop Congress certifying Joe Biden's election victory.
If he went through with it, "one of the most extraordinary and untested uses of presidential power in American history," writes the Times.
"Mr. Trump has shown signs that his level of interest in pardoning himself goes beyond idle musings. He has long maintained he has the power to pardon himself, and his polling of aides' views is typically a sign that he is preparing to follow through on his aims.
"He has also become increasingly convinced that his perceived enemies will use the levers of law enforcement to target him after he leaves office."
Presidents typically use the last few days they have in office to pardon individuals who have fallen foul of the law, often those who have helped the president's administration in some way.
But no president has ever pardoned himself.
The legitimacy of prospective self-clemency has never been tested in the justice system, and legal experts are reportedly divided about whether the courts would recognise it.
"They agree a presidential self-pardon could create a dangerous new precedent for presidents to unilaterally declare they are above the law and to insulate themselves from being held accountable for any crimes they committed in office," the article reads.
Trump is set to leave office on January 20 when Mr Biden is officially inaugurated, though Congress is reportedly looking to impeach the president in the wake of this week's Capitol Building saga and invoke the 25th Amendment, which would leave Vice President Mike Pence in charge until Biden takes over.
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(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Empty FBI warn of planned armed protests in all 50 states in lead-up to Inauguration Day

Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 12 2021, 18:37

The FBI has warned of a number of armed protests by Trump supporters in the lead-up to Inaguration Day.

Joe Biden is to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on 20 January, but what is usually a large celebration for the winning party has this year been marred with fears of further violence.

Last Wednesday, hundreds of pro-Trump supporters who believe the election had been stolen from them due to the President's repeated, baseless claims of voter fraud, stormed the US Capitol as Congress worked to confirm the Electoral College votes.

Lawmakers were evacuated as crowds broke into the building, with a total of five people losing their lives in the violence, including a police officer who had "physically engaged" with rioters, and a woman who was shot by police as she attempted to storm the building.

Now the FBI have warned that multiple armed protests have been planned, mainly by pro-Trump demonstrators, across all 50 states, in the days leading up to the inauguration.
According to ABC News, an internal FBI bulletin warned that "Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January."

Multiple arrests have been made since mobs, who have been labelled domestic terrorists by lawmakers and by President-Elect Biden, stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, and the FBI are asking the public to help identify those who were present.

In further worrying developments, US army troops set to be deployed to Washington for the inauguration of Joe Biden may be investigated to ensure they do not sympathise with domestic terrorists.

Member of the US House of Representatives and Army Veteran Jason Crow told Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy that all troops who are set to be deployed for Biden's inauguration should be investigated, after it was found that a number of pro-Trump rioters who broke into the US Capitol Building on Wednesday were active members of the military or had previously served.

According to Military.com , Mr Crow asked Army Secretary McCarthy that all military members involved in the riot receive fast-tracked investigation and courts-martial, and requested that National Guard troops deployed for the inauguration be investigated "to ensure that deployed members are not sympathetic to domestic terrorists".
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(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Empty Angela Merkel slams Twitter for banning Donald Trump

Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 12 2021, 18:41

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticised Twitter after they controversially suspended US President Donald Trump's account.

She called the decision to ban him "problematic" and a breach of the "fundamental right to free speech."

Merkel said through her spokesperson that the American government should follow Germany's lead in adopting laws that restrict online incitement, rather than leaving it up to platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to make their own rules.

"Free speech is a fundamental right of vital importance [and should only be restricted] in accordance with the laws and within a framework defined by the legislator - not by the decision of the management of social media platforms," the spokesperson said.

Last week, the president's account was suspended in the aftermath of the riots at the Capitol Building where a number of Trump supporters stormed Congress in an attempt to stop them certifying Joe Biden's election victory.

The social media giant cited "repeated and severe" violations of its civic integrity policies as justification for the ban.

Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts were also suspended in the aftermath of the riots, as it was deemed that some of his posts were inciting violence.

While many celebrated Trump's ban as a victory against those who would seek to jeopardise the integrity of American democracy, many felt as though Twitter's decision was a serious violation of free speech.

The idea that an unelected private company can decide what the president of the United States is and isn't allowed to say is a deeply unsettling one for many, including Mrs Merkel, and France's minister for finance, Bruno Le Maire.

Mr Le Maire told French outlet France Inter that he was "shocked" by Twitter's decision.

"Digital regulation should not be done by the digital oligarchy itself ... regulation of the digital arena is a matter for the sovereign people, governments and judiciary," he said on Monday.

No matter your opinion on Trump, is silencing him really the answer?
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Post by Kitkat Thu Jan 14 2021, 18:53

President Donald Trump has released a video to offer his most forceful condemnation yet of last week's riot at the Capitol, but did not mention his impeachment in the recorded message released on the White House Twitter account

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Post by Kitkat Sat Jan 16 2021, 20:10

Biden inauguration: All 50 US states on alert for armed protests

All 50 US states and the District of Columbia (DC) are on alert for possible violent protests this weekend, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday.
National Guard troops from across the country are being sent to Washington DC, to discourage any repeat of the deadly riot that unfolded on 6 January.
The FBI has warned of possible armed marches by pro-Trump demonstrators at all 50 state capitols.
The National Mall in DC has been shut.
Barricades are lining the streets of the capital amid tightened security.
The Biden team had already urged Americans to avoid travelling to the capital because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and local officials said people should watch the inauguration remotely.
Sunday is expected to be a particular focus for protests , after posts on pro-Trump and far-right online networks called for armed demonstrations on 17 January, and a march in Washington DC on inauguration day itself.

Some militias have told their followers not to attend, citing heavy security or claiming the planned events are police traps.
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Barricades are being assembled around the US Capitol ahead of the 20 January inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

It follows a week in which Donald Trump became the first US president to be impeached twice. He now faces a Senate trial , on a charge of "incitement of insurrection" linked to the storming of the US Capitol by groups of his supporters on 6 January.

Which states are taking measures?

States across the country are taking precautionary measures, from boarding up capitol windows to refusing to grant permits for rallies.
The governors of Maryland, New Mexico and Utah have all declared states of emergency ahead of possible protests.
California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin are among those activating their National Guards, and Texas will shut its state capitol from Saturday until after inauguration day.
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A fence is being put up around the Michigan state capitol in Lansing

According to the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, intelligence suggested "violent extremists" could infiltrate planned protests there to "conduct criminal acts".
Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam told a news conference on Thursday: "If you're planning to come here or up to Washington with ill intent in your heart, you need to turn around right now and go home. You are not welcome here, and you're not welcome in our nation's capital. And if you come here and act out, Virginia will be ready."
Analysts believe states that saw especially hostile or protracted election battles are at most risk of violence. One of them, Michigan, has erected a six-foot fence around its capitol in Lansing.
"We are prepared for the worst, but we remain hopeful that those who choose to demonstrate at our capitol do so peacefully," the state's Police Director Joe Gasper said on Friday. The building will have an increased police presence until at least mid-February, he added.



More on this story

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(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Empty Donald Trump will not pardon himself, but plans to issue over 100 pardons on final day of presidency

Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 17:48

Donald Trump is set to pardon over 100 of his friends and allies during the final few hours of his memorable presidency, though he won't be pardoning himself or any members of his family.

His term will officially end at noon on Wednesday, when Joe Biden is signed in and formally handed power.

Before then, Trump is expected to hand out dozens upon dozens of presidential pardons, eliminating any federal offences any of the pardonees may have committed.

It was speculated for a while that he might try and pardon himself, and reports indicate that Trump asked advisors about the political and legal ramifications of doing so, but both Fox News and CNN have both reported that this won't be happening.

As such, Trump will be avoiding unchartered waters of the US constitution, given that no president has ever attempted to pardon himself before, and the wording isn't particularly specific about whether he actually has the power to or not.

The storming of the Capitol Building earlier this month is believed to have shaped Trump's thinking, after the incident - which lead to the deaths of five people, including one police officer - saw him become the first US president to be impeached twice.

Once Trump becomes a private citizen again, there will be a variety of legal pressures for him to face, including a potential investigation into his tax affairs.

As for his presidential send-off, Trump will be holding a rally-of-sorts at Joint Base Andrews, a military airfield in Maryland at around 8am local time.

And while Trump will be saying goodbye to his presidential duties, he won't be saying the same to his presidential responsibilities, with an unprecedented trial of impeachment in the Senate still to come.
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(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Empty Donald Trump 'furious' at star-studded line-up for Biden inauguration

Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 17:54

Donald Trump has been at the centre of much controversy during his final weeks in office, most notably his role in encouraging a mob that stormed the US Capitol building on January 6, leading to to his second impeachment.

But despite this not-too-trifling list of concerns, what is apparently weighing on the erstwhile reality TV star's mind is the celebrity line-up of his successor's inauguration.

Trump is reportedly "livid" at the impressive cohort of A-listers, including Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez, and Lady Gaga, that will be joining President Elect Joe Biden to celebrate his inauguration.
The event will stand in sharp contrast to Trump's inauguration, which was somewhat deflated by the number of stars that pulled out, such as Elton John, Garth Brooks, and the Dixie Chicks.

A dazzling 'Field of Flags' has been erected on the National Mall outside the US Capitol building in place of supporters who will not be able to attend the event on Wednesday due to Covid-19 safety measures.
Trump, who is spending his final 24-hours in the White House, will officially vacate the residence before noon on Wednesday. He's confirmed that he will not be attending Biden's inauguration, making him the first president to snub the event since 1869.

It is thought that he will instead take his final flight on Air Force One to his sprawling Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where he is due to reside permanently once his presidency is over.
Members of the president's family are following suit with the move, as his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner - both closely linked with his administration - have purchased a $30 million estate in Indian Creek, Florida.
Donald Trump Jr is also relocating to the sunshine state with his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, while Tiffany Trump, 27, is reportedly moving to Miami.

The National Guard is more than doubling its usual presence to 25,000 troops for Wednesday's inauguration, and has, along with the FBI, enhanced its political vetting of on-duty personnel in light of the recent violence at the Capitol.

A significant concern, voiced by former FBI director , James Comey, among others, is a terrorist attack by armed groups on the day that attempts to threaten the peaceful transition of power.

President Trump will issue a farewell to his supporters at an early-morning event and will then be seen off by a 21-gun salute.
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Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:27

6:10

'Trained and ready for anything'


There could be as many as 25,000 National Guard troops in Washington DC by tomorrow.
As many observers have pointed out on social media, that's more US troops than are currently stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
"We're making sure that our folks are trained and ready for anything they're going to be asked to do," said General Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau.
In an interview on the TODAY Show, Hokanson said his Guardsmen - who have arrived in the nation's capital from all over the country - will co-ordinate with the Secret Service and other federal agencies on security and logistics for inauguration-related events.
Referring to fears that right-wing extremists may be among the ranks of the National Guard, Hokanson said the organisation had vetted all troops.
"I'm not concerned about that at all," said Hokanson. "We don't allow extremism of any type in our organisation."
However, according to the Associated Press, two members of the National Guard have just been pulled from the security mission after they were found to have ties to right-wing militia groups. No plot against Joe Biden has been uncovered.
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(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Empty Kamala Harris's ancestral Indian village prays for her success

Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:30

Kamala Harris's ancestral Indian village prays for her success


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Celebrations over Kamala Harris’s upcoming role as vice-president are not limited to her supporters in the US.
Residents of Thulasendrapuram village, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, have gathered to celebrate and pray for her success ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration.
The village is where Harris's maternal grandfather was born and raised (her mother moved to the US as a young woman).

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Harris will make history as the first female, first black and first Asian-American US vice-president.
You can find out more about her here .
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(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Empty Biden picks transgender woman as assistant health secretary

Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:32

Biden picks transgender woman as assistant health secretary


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Joe Biden has chosen transgender woman Rachel Levine to be assistant secretary of health.
The announcement paves the way for Levine to become the first openly transgender official to be confirmed by the Senate.
Levine currently serves as Pennsylvania’s health secretary, and has been leading the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden said she was an "historic and deeply qualified choice," and would "bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic".
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Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:34

Capitol rioters were provoked by Trump, says Mitch McConnell


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Top Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is directly blaming President Trump for the riot at the US Capitol on 6 January.
"The mob was fed lies," said McConnell on the Senate floor as it met for the first time since the attack. "They were provoked by the president and other powerful people."
McConnell has not yet indicated how he will vote in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. If he votes to convict Trump, it may convince several other Republicans to follow his lead.
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Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:36

Biden to honour Covid victims


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Joe Biden is just one day away from becoming the next US president.
He is set to deliver a final set of remarks from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, before heading to Washington ready for his inauguration.
Later, he and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will take part in an event at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, honouring those who have died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event, which begins at 17:30 (22:30 GMT), will include a lighting ceremony and be attended by the Archbishop of Washington and two acclaimed gospel singers.
The president-elect is expected to spend the night at the presidential guesthouse Blair House.
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Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:39

Democrats 'plan to begin impeachment this week'

US Democrats are planning to launch the impeachment trial against Donald Trump later this week, ABC news reports.
Unnamed sources told the network that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi planned to send the article of impeachment to the Senate in the days following President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday.
The trial would then begin at 13:00 the following day, with opening arguments starting the following week.
Trump was first impeached by the House of Representatives in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine, but was later acquitted by the Senate.
While the Democrats control the Senate this time around, they will need the backing of 17 Republicans to secure the two-thirds majority required for a conviction - a move that could pave the way to Trump being barred from holding office again.
Find out more about the process of impeachment here.


18:27

Two National Guard members pulled from inauguration duty


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Members of the National Guard have been a highly visible presence at the US Capitol in recent days

More now on the news that two National Guardsmen have been removed from the security mission to secure tomorrow's inauguration ceremony amid enhanced screening measures by the Defense Department.
The duo held ties to fringe militia groups, according to the Associated Press.
Neither the US Defense Department nor the National Guard Bureau have responded to requests for further comment, but the two men appear to be the only ones to so far be pulled from inauguration duty.
There will be as many as 25,000 members of the National Guard in and around the US Capitol for tomorrow's inauguration ceremony.
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(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Empty 18:46 Trump leaves office with 34% approval rating

Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:42

18:46

Trump leaves office with 34% approval rating


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The ratings are in and they aren't good for President Donald Trump.
Polling organisation Gallup's final job approval rating says only 34% of Americans approve of the job he has done.
It means Trump will depart the White House with a record low average job approval of 41%, lower than any other president in Gallup polling history.
Gallup began its US presidential job approval ratings in 1938 and Trump now becomes the only president in that time to have never reached 50% approval during his term.
However, the polarising president still receives high approval ratings from Republicans, who - on average - have backed his job performance by a stunning 81 percentage-point gap over Democrats.
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Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:47

19:43

DC prepares for Biden inauguration


Security has been ramped up in Washington DC in preparation for an inauguration like no other.
Some 25,000 National Guard reserve soldiers have been deployed in the wake of the storming of the Capitol building by a pro-Trump mob on 6 January that left five people dead.

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The number of spectators will be greatly reduced due to the pandemic and Donald Trump will snub his successor by not attending - something that has not happened for more than 150 years.
Some 200,000 flags, bathed in light, have been planted on the National Mall to represent the crowds who cannot attend and reflect on those who have lost their lives to Covid.

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Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:50

US surpasses 400,000 coronavirus deaths

The US has become the first country to surpass 400,000 coronavirus-related deaths.


20:03

Twelve National Guard members removed from inauguration


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Thousands of troops have been deployed ahead of the inauguration

A dozen members of the US National Guard have been removed from security efforts to protect tomorrow's inauguration, according to US media reports.
The Associated Press news agency, which initially reported the number, said that all of the members had been found to have links with right-wing groups or to have posted extremist views online.
However, a Pentagon spokesman quoted by Reuters news agency said that not all were removed due to ties to extremist groups, while NBC news said that some of the guardsmen were ruled out due to "'more routine' vetting issues".
Security in Washington DC has been bolstered since the Capitol riot on 6 January, which left five people dead.
More than 25,000 members of the National Guards are expected to be involved in tomorrow's ceremony - more than three times the number present during Donald Trump's inauguration.
Find out more about how security threats and Covid-19 have changed the ceremony here .
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Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:53

More on the US Covid death toll

As we mentioned earlier, the death toll from coronavirus in the US has passed 400,000.
According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, the country has now reported 400,022 fatalities, and more than 24 million cases.
This is more deaths and cases than reported by any other country in the world.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are due to lead an event in Washington later today to honour those killed by Covid-19.
The president-elect has pledged to vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days in office.
The Democrat received his first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine last month, saying he was getting the jab to show Americans it is "safe to take".
Donald Trump has been criticised by health experts for his handling of the pandemic.
But the White House defended the administration, highlighting Operation Warp Speed, the programme to develop and distribute vaccines.
“We grieve every single life lost to this pandemic, and thanks to the president’s leadership, Operation Warp Speed has led to the development of multiple safe and effective vaccines in record time, something many said would never happen,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said, according to AP news agency.

Pence 'to skip Trump farewell ceremony'

Mike Pence is expected to miss Donald Trump's departure ceremony due to a conflict with Joe Biden's inauguration, US media reports.
Attending Trump's event at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland in the morning would reportedly be logistically too difficult as the vice-president would then need to be back in Washington for the midday inauguration ceremonies.
Pence will reportedly bid farewell to Trump before he departs from the White House in the morning.
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Post by Kitkat Tue Jan 19 2021, 23:56

Biden inauguration speech to focus on unity

As the inauguration draws nearer, we're learning more about what Joe Biden is expected to say in his first speech as president.
Biden, who is now on his way to Washington DC, is expected to use his address to focus on the theme of unity, a theme that also underpinned his election campaign.
The new president plans to speak about the need to bring the country together during a period of upheaval and to call on all Americans to work together to address the challenges facing the nation.

From pop stars to TikTok sensations: The celebrities at the inauguration

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have no shortage of celebrity supporters, and several famous faces will be making an appearance at Wednesday’s inauguration events.Here are some of the stars you can expect to see:

  • Pop star Lady Gaga supported Biden during the campaign, even appearing with him on the eve of the election. So it is no surprise that she has been invited to perform the national anthem at the inauguration event
  • Jennifer Lopez, who also endorsed Biden last year, will give a separate musical performance
  • After the ceremony, actor Tom Hanks will host a star-studded televised special, featuring Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake and others
  • Scandal actor Tony Goldwyn will be hosting a virtual Parade Across America
  • This will feature appearances from comedian Jon Stewart and rock band New Radicals - who are reuniting for the first time in 22 years for the occasion
  • Skateboarding TikTok star Nathan Apodaca, also known as DoggFace, will also make an appearance
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 20 2021, 00:01

21:06 (GMT)

Breaking News 

Trump gives farewell address

Donald Trump has released a farewell address on his last full day as US president.
In excerpts released earlier, he says: “We did what we came here to do - and so much more.”

Donald Trump bids farewell to Washington

On his final full day in office, outgoing president Donald Trump delivered a farewell speech from the White House.
Currently locked out of his personal social media accounts, Trump struck a concilatory yet defiant tone in the video released via the government's official social media accounts.
"We did what we came here to do - and so much more," he said. "I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices – because that’s what you elected me to do."
He warned that "the greatest danger" now facing the country was "a loss of confidence in our national greatness".
The 45th president ran through actions taken by his administration - from "stand[ing] up to China like never before" to "a series of historic peace deals in the Middle East".
He added: "I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars."
Referring to the riot at the US Capitol on 6 January, he said: "All Americans were horrified by the assault on the Capitol... It can never be tolerated."
Trump acknowledged that a new administration would take office, but said: "I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning."




What did Trump say in his farewell address?

"America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree," he said.
He adds: "We are - and must always be - a land of hope, of light and of glory to all the world."
Here's what else he had to say:

  • On his administration's record: "We did what we came here to do – and so much more. Above all, we have reasserted the sacred idea that in America, the government answers to the people."
  • On domestic policy: "Our agenda was not about right or left, it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, but about the good of a nation, and that means the whole nation."
  • On foreign policy: "We revitalised our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before. As a result of our bold diplomacy and principled realism, we achieved a series of historic peace deals in the Middle East... I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars."
  • On the Capitol riot: "Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated."
  • On his legacy: "Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning."
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 20 2021, 00:08

Trump leaves government changed

Anthony Zurcher - BBC North America reporter
Donald Trump, in his 20-minute pre-recorded farewell speech, said his administration did what it came to do and more. One can debate the significance of his accomplishments – whether 400 miles of rebuilt border wall, tax cuts, regulatory rollbacks, confirmed judges, trade wars and modest Mideast diplomatic agreements amount to much in the way of substantive achievement.
But at least in one way, his boast is certainly true. Trump ran for president in 2016 to shake up the existing political order. He campaigned as an outsider giving voice to those who distrusted the establishment and felt the system no longer worked for them.
“I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do,” he said. The unrest and resentment that Trump rode to the White House crested and crashed on the US Capitol two weeks ago, leaving behind wreckage – literal and metaphorical – that will take time and effort to clear.
After four years of shattered norms and traditions, of turning expectations of presidential behaviour on their head, Trump leaves US government changed – fundamentally and, perhaps, irreversibly. That, at least, was a promise made and a promise kept.

Trump could face Screen Actors Guild expulsion

Donald Trump is already awaiting his second impeachment trial by the Senate once he leaves office. A sideshow to all this is that he now faces possible expulsion from the Screen Actors Guild.
SAG-AFTRA, the union which represents working performers, said on Tuesday its national board found Trump had probably violated its rules over his alleged incitement of the Capitol riot.
The board has requested his expulsion and the issue will now be heard by the body's disciplinary committee.
"The charges specifically cite Trump’s role in inciting the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, and in sustaining a reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members," the statement said.
According to the AP news agency, the former Apprentice star has been a member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1989. He has also made cameo appearances in films and TV series including Home Alone 2.


Goodbye from Pence

His boss may be unable to tweet, but Vice-President Mike Pence has taken to Twitter to bid adieu to Washington.
He and Second Lady Karen Pence plan to return to his hometown of Columbus, Indiana, on Wednesday, according to the Indy Star . He graduated from high school in the city and his mother still lives there.
But it is not yet clear where exactly he will live - the New York Times reported in November that Pence, 61, does not own a house.
Pence has only met once with President Trump since 6 January, when pro-Trump rioters at the US Capitol repeatedly chanted: "Hang Mike Pence!"
As we reported earlier, he will not attend Trump's farewell ceremony tomorrow morning and will instead be present at the inauguration ceremony for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
The vice president and his wife - First Lady Karen Pence - will then fly home to Indiana. It remains unclear whether he intends to run for office again.



Biden returns to Washington DC

Joe Biden has landed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, after bidding farewell to his home state of Delaware.
As we have mentioned, Biden is due to attend an event this evening honouring those who have died as a result of coronavirus and will spend the night at the presidential guest house Blair House.
A Catholic, he is expected to attend Mass at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle in Washington DC on Wednesday morning with the four congressional leaders - Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy - before being sworn in as president.
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 20 2021, 00:09

23:00

That's a wrap


Thanks for joining us - we will be back on Wednesday with live updates for Joe Biden's inauguration as 46th president of the US.
Here's a reminder of today's top stories:

  • Donald Trump has praised his record in office during his final address as president
  • Trump said he would "pray" for the new administration's success but added: "I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning"
  • Top Republican Mitch McConnell joined criticism of Trump's role in the violence on the Capitol on 6 January
  • Joe Biden has arrived in Washington DC as preparations continue for Wednesday's inauguration
  • Twelve members of the National Guard have been removed from duty as part of vetting ahead of the ceremony. Around 25,000 troops are expected to provide security
  • The number of people who have died with coronavirus in the US has passed 400,000


Today's live page from the BBC was brought to you by: Alexandra Fouché, Alice Cuddy, Claudia Allen, Sam Cabral, Jessica Murphy, Paulin Kola, Ritu Prasad, Victoria Bisset and George Wright.
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 20 2021, 12:36

A leading concert violinist from Ireland who was handpicked by the Biden family to play at the President-elect's inaugural mass is planning to wow audiences with two classic Irish pieces of music. 

Patricia Treacy, from Blackrock, Co Louth, has been busy practicing in Chicago before travelling to Washington DC for what she described to the Irish Examiner as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”. 
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to perform for the inaugural mass for the President-elect and his amazing family which I have become very close to,” she said. 
“I am hugely honoured to be a part of this momentous historical occasion.”

There had been some fears that inauguration would have to take place without any live music because of the riots witnessed in the Capitol earlier this month. 
However, those fears have since been allayed with Treacy set to play using a 315-year-old Stradivarius violin, loaned from Joe Bein and Company in Chicago, estimated to be worth $4m (€3.3m). 
Treacy is a favourite of the Biden family, having performed for them on a number of occasions, including during an official St Patrick’s Day celebration at the then-Vice President Biden’s official residence at One Naval Observatory in 2016. 
She also played during an official state visit to Ireland as Vince President later that year as part of a trip that saw Biden visit his ancestral home in Carlingford, Co Louth. 
Treacy was also on hand again when President Obama surprised Vice President Biden with the Medal of Freedom in January 2017. 
"He's so down to earth, so genuine, so lovely," Treacy said of Biden. "I'm so fond of him, he's incredible."


There will be a distinctly Irish feel to Treacy’s performance with the violinist set to play to Irish pieces during the mass - “The Proclamation” and “Ag Críost an Síol.” 
Ag Críost an Síol is an Irish hymn dating back to 1916.  
An Irish priest, Father Michael Sheehan, penned the original tune while Seán Ó Riada went on to add Irish language lyrics to the piece in 1968. 
Treacy previously performed The Proclamation during the 1916 Centenary Commemorations at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin when President Michael D. Higgins laid a wreath to honour those who fought and died in the Rising 
Speaking to The Clare Champion, Patrick Cassidy, the Irish composer behind the piece, said he was “delighted” it was being used at such an “historic event” and looked forward to seeing Biden in Ireland very soon. 
“This inauguration is particularly special, as President Biden brings a message of hope and unity to Americans at what is a very difficult time.  
“I’m sure we can also look forward to him visiting his ancestral home in Ireland as soon as it’s safe to travel again.”
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 20 2021, 13:23

Joe Biden is reportedly planning to stop off in Ireland en route to the G7 Summit in England this summer.

While the politician, who has strong links to Ireland, has visited the Republic on multiple occasions, this would be his first time on the island since becoming US President.
Mr Biden is set to be inaugurated today, 20 January, as the 47th President of the United States, succeeding Republican Donald Trump, who has snubbed the ceremony.
According to BreakingNews.ie , the upcoming president will attend the G7 Summit in Cornwall, England in June this year, and will stop off in County Clare in Ireland for a short while.

A source told the outlet that Mr Biden's team will stop at Shannon Airport in order to refuel, most likely on the way to England but possibly on the way back.
Paul Allen of the Irish For Biden campaign, which is based in Carlingford, County Louth, and which urged Irish citizens to encouraged their friends and family in the US to vote for the Democrat in the Presidential election, spoke to the outlet where he said:
"The G7 summit is taking place in a tiny village in Cornwall on June 11th, and my insiders in the Biden camp have led me to believe that they will stop off in Shannon Airport and refuel there before heading over to England, or may pop in on the way back.
Mr Allen said he was told by an "insider" that Mr Biden wants to get to Ireland "as soon as possible, so coming in before the G7 to refuel would allow him to do that".
“He's had many private visits to Ireland, they've come into Shannon before and got a car to drive them to Ballina or Carlingford."
Mr Biden's roots stem from Counties Mayo and Louth, and his distant relatives and supporters had been hoping to hold a celebration on Inauguration Day, but these plans have been scuppered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
(UPDATED) Violence engulfs US Capitol as Trump supporters run riot Gettyi58
Joe Blewitt and his wife Deirdre drink champagne underneath a mural of their third cousin Joe Biden as locals celebrate Joe Biden being elected as the next US President in Ballina, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

In November, following his win in the election, the Co Louth town hosted a special event that included a socially distanced parade and a performance from the Carlingford pipe band.
Mr Allen told BreakingNews.ie that he had a ticket for the inauguration but is unable to attend due to the pandemic.
He said, however, that sources told him Mr Biden's Irish roots will feature in his inauguration speech later today.
"Joe Biden is more Irish than even JFK," he said. "The potential for Ireland is enormous."
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 20 2021, 13:28

Trump ‘prays’ for Biden’s success but tells supporters ‘movement we started is only just beginning’

Donald Trump used his farewell speech as US President to wish “success and luck” to Joe Biden as he prepares to be sworn into office.

In a pre-recorded speech, the 45th President said he “prays” that Biden’s administration enjoys “success in keeping America safe and prosperous”.

Trump did, however, also use the speech to tell his supporters “the movement we started is only just beginning.”

His remarks regarding Biden’s administration represent something of an about-turn given Trump’s efforts to have the result of last year’s election overturned.

Trump consistently claimed that the vote was rigged against him, launching multiple legal challenges yet failing to produce any credible evidence to back up his accusations.

His continued refusal to concede provided the catalyst for the violent protests witnessed on Capitol Hill on January 6 in which five people died.

Trump is now set to become the first President to be impeached twice amid accusations he incited the violence witnessed that day during an inflammatory speech made to his supporters.

Despite the prospect of being barred from running for the office of President again, Trump was keen to stress to his supporters that this would not be the end of his time in politics.

“Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning,” he said.

“There’s never been anything like it,” he continued.  “The belief that a nation must serve its citizens will not dwindle but instead only grow stronger by the day.”


Trump used the speech to focus on his accomplishments in office which he claimed included building “the greatest economy in the history of the world,” and encouraging nations to “stand up to China like never before”.

The outgoing President also took credit for nurturing relations between Israel and Arab states like Bahrain and United Arab Emirates and took pride from being “the first president in decades who has started no new wars.”

That claim came despite the fact Trump had previously ordered numerous military strikes in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and other places.

He also hit out at social media companies in the wake of his bans from Twitter and Facebook amid accusations of inciting aggression among his supporters.

“Only if we forget who we are, and how we got here, could we ever allow political censorship and blacklisting to take place in America,” Trump said.  

“It’s not even thinkable.  Shutting down free and open debate violates our core values and most enduring traditions.”

Trump is expected to make one final appearance as president at 8 a.m. Wednesday before departing from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.  

He will not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration making him the first living ex-president to not attend the inauguration of his successor in roughly 150 years.
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 20 2021, 14:42

'Have a great life, we'll see you soon'

Donald Trump has finished his brief speech at Andrews Air Base.
"We will be back in some form," he vows, before departing with Melania to the strains of YMCA.

'We asked Trump to stop playing YMCA'

"Young man, there's no need to feel down..."
Clearly Donald Trump thought this line from the Village People classic YMCA was what his supporters needed to hear after his last speech as president. It's been a long-term favourite, which he played regularly at campaign rallies in 2020 - sometimes breaking out a dance move or two.
When the BBC spoke to Village People leader Victor Willis, though, he said he didn't support Trump and had asked him to stop playing the group's beloved hit.

14:00

Trump departs for Florida on Air Force One

After his brief farewell, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have departed Joint Base Andrews aboard Air Force One - with Frank Sinatra's My Way blasting from speakers on the tarmac.
They'll be travelling south to Florida, where Trump will live at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
Air Force One will then return to Maryland, where it will be at the disposal of incoming President Joe Biden.

Trump leaves Joe Biden a note

After uncertainty given his decision to skip the inauguration, a White House spokesman has confirmed that the departing president has left his successor a letter.
Donald Trump had resisted conceding the election until very recently and even in his farewell remarks from the White House did not mention President-elect Joe Biden by name.
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Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 20 2021, 14:49

Blink Star  Continues from Page 1 (50 posts) to Page 2 of this topic Blink Star


'More members of the military than I've seen in my entire life'

Samantha Granville - BBC News, National Mall
I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to have inauguration in January but it’s absolutely freezing and the wind is making it hard to listen and talk.
Normally the mall would be flooded with tourists wishing the new president well, but instead I’ve seen more members of the military in a single morning that I have in my entire life.
Not only did it take 2.5 hours to go 20 minutes, but we had to go through multiple checkpoints as if we were in a war zone.
The mall is eerily quiet, with nearly 200,000 flags to mark all the people that would normally be there.
There’s eight of us huddled in the BBC tent, fighting for power outlets and just hoping it starts to warm up before the ceremony starts

14:26

Bidens attend Mass

President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill are attending Mass at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle in Washington DC.
Congressional leaders Sen Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are among those also attending the service.
Mr Biden is only the second Roman Catholic president in US history, following fellow Democrat John F Kennedy.
The cathedral was the venue for Kennedy's funeral Mass after his assassination in November 1963.

Trump supporters steer clear of Washington

Tara McKelvey - BBC News, Washington
Democrats are celebrating in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, but many of the president’s supporters are avoiding the place. Protests against the new president, Joe Biden, have been cancelled.
One of the events, a rally organised by a group, Public Advocate, was called off “due to current emergency in place January 20”, according to its website. Leaders of other pro-Trump groups say they are not going to the city. No-one will be there, one of them tells me, “except members of Congress and Biden staff – and 60,000 National Guard!”
The number of National Guard members will be closer to 25,000, but his point was clear. Washington will be a chilly place for the ultraconservatives who admire Trump.
The city’s lockdown, a massive effort to prevent violence, means many of the president’s fans will stay home. Some will no doubt make their way here. But many others say they are instead focusing their efforts on future rallies, at times and places to be determined.

    Current date/time is Sat Feb 27 2021, 22:00