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Capitol assault 'damaged' US standing in the world, say lawmakers

Capitol assault 'damaged' US standing in the world, say lawmakers
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The assault on the Capitol Wednesday by a rioting pro-Trump mob has “scarred” the U.S. reputation and “damaged our standing in the world,” top House lawmakers with oversight of foreign affairs said. 

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksBiden urged to reverse Pompeo-Trump move on Houthis House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis Trust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots MORE (D-N.Y.) and ranking member Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulUS ambassador to Israel Twitter account briefly includes West Bank, Gaza Biden urged to reverse Pompeo-Trump move on Houthis Kremlin critic Navalny detained in Moscow upon return to Russia MORE (R-Texas) issued a joint statement Wednesday evening warning that the unprecedented violence at the Capitol emboldened by President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE was a threat to democracies worldwide. 

"America has always been a beacon of freedom to the world; proof that free and fair elections are achievable, and that democracy works. But what happened at the Capitol today has scarred our reputation and has damaged our standing in the world,” the lawmakers said.

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"Today’s violence  an inevitable result when leaders in positions of power misled the public will certainly empower dictators and damage struggling democracies,” they continued, without explicitly calling out the president.

The lawmakers continued that the people perpetrating the “violent insurrection of the Capitol” should be arrested and prosecuted. 

“We must send a message to the world that this is not acceptable, and that America continues to stand for the rule of law,” they said. 

"It is time to make the peaceful transition of power. The world is watching."

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate presses Biden's pick for secretary of State on Iran, China, Russia and Yemen Year-end deal creates American Latino, women's history museums Lawmakers call for including creation of Latino, women's history museums in year-end spending deal MORE (D-N.J.), the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a lengthy statement Wednesday evening condemning Trump for instigating the violence on the Capitol and said the scenes of violence that played out are a boon to “autocrats” and America’s adversaries. 

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“Today, I shed a tear for our country, which for centuries has inspired the world through its commitment to democracy and the rule of law. From Moscow to Beijing and beyond, autocrats are likely smiling as they witness America in disarray, at war with itself, and no longer a credible messenger for the democratic values that have always defined our great Republic,” he said in a statement. 

The statements from the top lawmakers came hours after the Capitol building was secured from a violent breach by pro-Trump supporters who brandishing anti-Semitic symbols and Confederate flags ran roughshod through the halls of Congress, destroying property and ransacking the chambers of lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer placed on administrative leave: reports Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden taps career civil servants to acting posts at State, USAID, UN MORE (D-Calif.).

A woman was shot and killed during the insurrection, which interrupted Congress's certification of the Electoral College vote affirming President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenKaty Perry and her 'Firework' close out inauguration TV special Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Tom Hanks: After years of 'troubling rancor,' Inauguration Day 'is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal' MORE's win. At least 52 arrests were made, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

World leaders issued statements of shock and sadness at the drama unfolding in Washington, D.C., and called for democracy to be upheld. 

Trump encouraged his supporters at a rally earlier Wednesday to walk to the Capitol and “show strength, and you have to be strong.”

The rally followed weeks of the president stoking tensions undermining the lawful results of the U.S. election, claiming without evidence that it was “stolen.”

The Electoral College certification carried out by lawmakers was delayed for most of Wednesday before resuming that evening, with Biden certified as president-elect early Thursday morning. 

Trump issued a statement early Thursday morning through the Twitter account of his press secretary Dan Scavino saying that there would be an “orderly transition” for Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.