George W Bush says he was left ‘sick to stomach’ by Capitol riots

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Louise Hall
·2 min read
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<p>Former US President George W Bush and his wife Laura Bush arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, US, 20 January, 2021</p> (REUTERS)

Former US President George W Bush and his wife Laura Bush arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, US, 20 January, 2021

(REUTERS)

Former President George W Bush has further opened up about his reaction to the insurrection on the Capitol by pro-trump supporters this year, saying the riot left him "disgusted."

On 6 January, rioters breached the Capitol as lawmakers were gathered to certify Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election and they were forced to evacuate.

The mob, who were demanding that the election result be overturned, vandalised Capitol property and looted the building, smashing windows and ransacking offices.

Mr Bush, a Republican, has said in an interview with The Texas Tribune that he “can’t remember what he was doing” when the chaos unfolded.

“But... I was sick to my stomach... to see our nation’s Capitol being stormed by hostile forces,” he told the newspaper.

He added: "And it really disturbed me to the point where I did put out a statement, and I’m still disturbed when I think about it."

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The former president said the riot "undermines rule of law and the ability to express yourself in peaceful ways in the public square” adding: “This was an expression that was not peaceful."

Five people died as a result of the violence riot on 6 January including one Capitol Police officer who was beaten as he tried to ward off the crowds.

On the day of the riot, Mr Bush put out a statement condemning the action, comparing the scenes to how "election results are disputed in a banana republic".

In the statement, Mr Bush described the insurrection as "scenes of mayhem" and called it a "sickening and heartbreaking sight".

"I am appalled by the reckless behaviour of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement," he said.

Critics called out the former president for failing to speak up against Mr Trump’s rhetoric earlier or directly naming him in the statement condemning the riots.

One day after Joe Biden was declared winner of the 2020 election on 7 November, Mr Bush released a statement extending his “warmest congratulations” the president and acknowledging his win.

He noted in the statement that the voters “have spoken” saying: “Their voices will continue to be heard through elected Republicans at every level of government."

Speaking to The Tribune, Mr Bush explicitly said the 2020 presidential election was not stolen.

"I think the election, all elections have some kind of improprieties," he told the newspaper. "I think... the results of this election, though, were confirmed when Joe Biden got inaugurated as president."