WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Republican congressman from Wisconsin urged President Donald Trump to step in after his supporters stormed the halls of the U.S. Capitol during the Wednesday hearing certifying the Electoral College results.
"This is Banana Republic crap that we're watching right now," U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher said in a video he posted to Twitter. He is the only Republican member of Congress from Wisconsin who opposed the challenges to Biden's win.
Gallagher recorded the video from his Capitol office while under lockdown. He blamed the president's rhetoric of baseless claims of election fraud and the effort by dozens of his fellow Republicans to debate the validity of and overturn the Electoral College vote for fueling the unrest that led to the storming of the Capitol.
"This is the cost of this effort," Gallagher said. "This is the cost of countenancing an effort, by Congress, to overturn the election and telling thousands of people there is a legitimate shot of overturning the election today even though you know it is not true."
Gallagher said Trump has to stop his supporters and tell them to accept the results of the election.
"You are the only person who can call this off. Call it off. The election is over," Gallagher said. "This is bigger than you, it's bigger than any member of Congress. It's about the United States of America, which is more important than any politician."
Photos and video from inside the Capitol show dozens of protesters shouting "Stop the steal," waving U.S., Trump, and Confederate flags, smashing doors and windows, and more. A photo taken inside chambers showed plainclothes police officers aiming firearms at a damaged door.
Security forces take measures at the entrance of U.S. Capitol and respond after President Trump's supporters breached Capitol security in Washington D.C., Jan. 6, 2021. (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat of Vermont, posted a video moments after Capitol police officers told lawmakers that the building had been breached. He said security locked down the chambers.
"Everything seems safe but they're taking no chances," Welch said.
He then posted another video saying that authorities told people to put on gas masks.
"We were just told there has been tear gas in the rotunda, and we're being instructed to, each of us, to get gas masks that are under our seats," Welch said.
Trump posted a video on Twitter telling people to respect police officers and to leave. But just hours earlier, the president appeared at a rally near the White House where he whipped the crowd of supporters into a frenzy.
"We will never give up, we will never concede, it doesn’t happen you don’t concede when there’s theft involved," Trump shouted to the crowd.
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller issued a statement that he had spoken with congressional leaders and that the D.C. National Guard had been activated to help deal with the unrest.
"We have fully activated the D.C. National Guard to assist federal and local law enforcement as they work to peacefully address the situation. We are prepared to provide additional support as necessary and appropriate as requested by local authorities," Miller said in a statement. "Our people are sworn to defend the constitution and our democratic form of government and they will act accordingly."
Right now, I am sheltered in place in my office because we have protesters who have stormed the Capitol, clashing with Capitol Police, forcing their way into Statuary Hall. The vice president of the United States was just rushed off the floor of the House by Secret Service. This is banana republic crap that we're watching happen right now. And the objectors over the last two days have told me there is no problem with just having a debate. We know we're not going to succeed, so we're just going to object. We're going to have a debate, will voice people's concerns, and then we won't actually overturn our entire system of representative government. So nothing bad will happen. There will be no cost to this effort. This is the cost of this effort. This is the cost of countenancing an effort by Congress to overturn the election and telling thousands of people that there is a legitimate shot of overturning the election today, even though, you know, that is not true. We have got to stop this. Mr President, you have got to stop this. You are the only person who can call this off. Call it off. The election is over. Call it off. This is bigger than you. It's bigger than any member of Congress. It is about the United States of America, which is more important than any politician. Call it off. It's over.
ACTING SECRETARY MILLER'S STATEMENT
Chairman Milley and I just spoke separately with the Vice President and with Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Senator Schumer and Representative Hoyer about the situation at the U.S. Capitol. We have fully activated the D.C. National Guard to assist federal and local law enforcement as they work to peacefully address the situation. We are prepared to provide additional support as necessary and appropriate as requested by local authorities. Our people are sworn to defend the constitution and our democratic form of government and they will act accordingly.
With The Associated Press and Storyful