White House expresses sympathy to people killed and injured in Capitol riot

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they try to storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021.
Joseph Prezioso | AFP | Getty Images

The White House on Thursday released a statement expressing sympathy to those killed and injured in the previous day’s riot at the Capitol, which President Donald Trump instigated.

“The White House grieves the loss of life that occurred yesterday and extends sympathies to their families and loved ones,” said spokesman Judd Deere. “We also continue to pray for a speedy recovery for those who suffered injury.”

Four people died and more than 50 police were injured on Wednesday after pro-Trump demonstrators infiltrated the U.S. Capitol to prevent lawmakers from announcing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. Lawmakers ultimately affirmed Biden’s victory prior to 4 a.m. ET Thursday.

Authorities on Thursday expect to file several federal criminal charges in connection to the riot, CNBC’s Eamon Javers reported.

One woman was shot and killed by U.S. Capitol Police and three other individuals died from “medical emergencies,” local authorities said.

“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C,” Steven Sund, chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, said in a statement on Thursday.

Sund said that several police had been hospitalized with serious injuries. Rioters “actively attacked United States Capitol Police Officers and other uniformed law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers,” he said.

Trump refused to condemn the rioting, though well after it began he posted messages on Twitter encouraging participants to protest peacefully.

Just before the mob broke into the U.S. Capitol Complex, he told a crowd near the White House that “you don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.”

The president’s baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, which inspired the insurrection, have been debunked by his own administration. Courts around the country have rejected suits challenging the election results because they have failed to present any evidence.

Facebook and Twitter took the unprecedented action of locking the president from his social media accounts after he continued to assert falsehoods on Wednesday. The White House statement was provided by a spokesperson via email.

On Thursday, Facebook said Trump will be prevented from using his account for at least the remainder of his term, which ends at noon Jan. 20.

The White House statement follows one attributed to Trump himself that was released early on Thursday that propagated more lies about the election but pledged “an orderly transition on January 20th.”

“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!” Trump said.

Trump spent the final months of his presidential campaign seizing on images of violence at protests against police brutality in an effort to paint Biden and other Democrats as promoters of lawlessness.

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