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Former first lady Michelle Obama released a searing statement Thursday ripping into President Donald Trump's "violent" supporters for laying siege to the US Capitol on Wednesday.
"Like all of you, I watched as a gang — organized, violent, and mad they'd lost an election — laid siege to the United States Capitol," Obama said in a statement.
The day was "a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can't handle the truth of his own failures," she said.
Obama also blamed the Republican Party and the right-wing media apparatus, saying they "gleefully cheered him on, knowing full well the possibility of consequences like these."
Former first lady Michelle Obama tore into President Donald Trump's "violent" supporters on Thursday who stormed the US Capitol the previous day to try to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
"Like all of you, I watched as a gang - organized, violent, and mad they'd lost an election - laid siege to the United States Capitol," Obama said in a statement. "They set up gallows. They proudly waved the traitorous flag of the Confederacy through the halls. They desecrated the center of American government."
Obama went on to say the day was "a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can't handle the truth of his own failures. And the wreckage lays at the feet of a party and media apparatus that gleefully cheered him on, knowing full well the possibility of consequences like these."
—Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 7, 2021
Wednesday's riots sent shockwaves through the country as the public watched a frenzied mob of Trump supporters breach barriers at the Capitol, clash with police officers, break into the building, and invade the House and Senate floor before ransacking lawmakers' offices and vandalizing property.
The chaos forced Congress, which had convened to count up the 2020 electoral votes and finalize President-elect Joe Biden's victory, to abruptly go into recess. Lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters sheltered in offices and behind makeshift barricades before being evacuated as Trump supporters swarmed through the halls of the Capitol waving Confederate flags, chanting the president's name, and calling for four more years. Wednesday's violence resulted in four deaths.
Moreover, Obama pointed out in her statement, "once authorities finally gained control of the situation, these rioters and gang members were led out of the building not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days."
The former first lady noted the disparity between law enforcement's response to the pro-Trump rioters and its response to Black Lives Matter activists who held largely peaceful demonstrations across the country last year in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.
"In city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protestors met with brute force," her statement said. "We saw cracked skulls and mass arrests, law enforcement pepper spraying its way through a peaceful demonstration for a presidential photo op."
"And for those who call others unpatriotic for simply taking a knee in silent protest, for those who wonder why we need to be reminded that Black Lives Matter at all, yesterday made it painfully clear that certain Americans are, in fact, allowed to denigrate the flag and symbols of our nation," she added. "They've just got to look the right way."
In the wake of the insurrection, Democratic lawmakers and even some of their Republican colleagues have forcefully condemned Trump for inciting the violence by feeding his supporters lies about the legitimacy of the November general election. The president has repeatedly and falsely insisted that the race was "rigged" and "stolen" from him by nefarious Democratic forces who conspired with election vendors, Republican election officials, and dead communist dictators to take back the White House.
As Business Insider has reported, none of these claims hold merit, and in fact the 2020 election was the safest and most secure in US history. All 50 states and Washington, DC have certified their election results, at times after multiple recounts, and Congress formalized Biden's victory early Thursday after reconvening and finishing the electoral vote count.
Trump and his supporters, meanwhile, have drawn widespread backlash and turned the US into an object of international ridicule by trying to overturn the results of a democratic, free, and fair election. The president was temporarily locked out of his Twitter account on Wednesday and Thursday for sharing messages that violated the platform's rules against inciting violence and civil unrest. And Facebook and Instagram announced that they would block Trump from posting indefinitely, and at least until Biden is inaugurated, in order to mitigate further violence.
In her statement Thursday, Obama called for "Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior - and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation's leaders to fuel iinsurrection."
Congressional Democrats are also calling for Trump's impeachment, while others urge Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from power. Shortly before 4 a.m. ET on Thursday, hours after unleashing a mob of his supporters on Congress and minutes after Congress finalized Biden's victory, Trump's communications aide Dan Scavino posted a statement to Twitter from the president that promised "an orderly transition" on January 20.
Read the original article on Business Insider