Joe Biden says President Trump provoked ‘domestic terrorists’ at U.S. Capitol

WILMINGTON (Reuters): President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday that President Donald Trump fomented Wednesday’s violence at the U.S. Capitol, calling it one of the darkest days in the country’s history and an assault on democracy.

Biden, speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was introducing nominees for his Justice Department, called the Trump supporters who forced their way into the Capitol building “domestic terrorists”.

 “Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic,” Democrat Biden said.

The chaos in the U.S. Capitol when a pro-Trump mob stormed the building that houses the Senate and House of Representatives unfolded after Trump spent weeks whipping up his supporters with false claims that the Nov. 3 election was stolen from him. At a rally in front of the White House on Wednesday Trump called on supporters to march to the building.

“He unleashed an all-out assault on the institutions of our democracy from the outset, and yesterday was but the culmination of that unrelenting attack,” Biden said of Republican Trump.

He said it was “totally unacceptable” that police had shown more leniency toward the mob than police around the country had toward lawful anti-racism protesters last year.

“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matters protesters, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true. And that is unacceptable,” Biden said.

He added that officials in his Justice Department would have loyalty to the law, not the president.

The House and Senate were scheduled to certify the results of the Electoral College, over the objections of some Republican lawmakers, when the Capitol was forced into lockdown by crowds swarming into the building.

Congress reconvened hours later and early on Thursday confirmed Biden’s presidential election victory. He will be sworn into office on Jan. 20.