Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyJan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden, Democrats dig into legislative specifics Trump sues Jan. 6 panel to block records MORE (Wyo.), the No. 3 House Republican, tore into President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE over his response to Wednesday riots in and around the Capitol that delayed Congress’s certification of the Electoral College results.
Cheney, who has frequently clashed with the president throughout his administration, said Trump is to blame for the mob due to his unsubstantiated claims of a “rigged” election, and she panned his response to the violence as “completely inadequate.”
“What he has done and what he has caused here is something that we’ve never seen before in our history. It’s been 245 years, and no president has ever failed to concede or agree to leave office after the Electoral College has voted, and I think what we are seeing today is the result of that, the result of convincing people that somehow Congress was going to overturn the results of this election, the results of suggesting that he wouldn’t leave office,” she said on NBC News.
“Those are very, very dangerous things, and he will be remembered, this will be part of his legacy, and it is a dangerous moment for the country,” she said.
Cheney’s statement is among the sharpest Republican rebukes of Trump over the day’s chaos.
During some of the day’s tensest moments, officers were seen with their firearms drawn inside the House chamber, appearing to point them at demonstrators outside the door leading into the historic room. Glass from the door was broken, and law enforcement barricaded the entrance. Lawmakers were also seen being handed gas masks and calling their family members to tell them they were safe.
The mob descended on the Capitol as Congress debated GOP objections to the Electoral College vote. The challenges are virtually guaranteed to fail to block President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE from being certified as the winner of the November election.
Trump has sent out a number of tweets as the protests ramped up, including most recently a taped video from the White House urging his supporters to disperse and repeating his false claims that his election defeat was “fraudulent,” the idea that fueled the protest in the first place.
“You have to go home now. We have to have peace,” Trump said. “We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.”