Jimmy Carter calls Capitol violence 'a national tragedy'

Jimmy Carter calls Capitol violence 'a national tragedy'
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Former President Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterWas US-China engagement premised on Chinese political liberalization? Pat Robertson steps down as '700 Club' host after 60 years Carter, the longest living former president, celebrates 97th birthday MORE called the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday "a national tragedy" and said he was praying for a peaceful transfer of power.

“This is a national tragedy and is not who we are as a nation,” the 39th president of the United States said in a statement posted to Twitter by the Carter Center.

The former president said he was “troubled by the violence at the U.S. Capitol today.”

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“I know that the the people can unite to walk back from the precipice to peacefully uphold the laws of our nation, and we must,” Carter added. “We join our fellow citizens in praying for a peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.”

Lawmakers were forced to evacuate the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon after rioters breached security and entered the building when Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote. One woman was shot and later died.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserBowser declares October 2021 'LGBTQ History Month' in DC DC Council member plans to challenge Bowser for mayor Lobbying world MORE (D) imposed a 6 p.m. curfew in the nation's capital as a result of the violence, and the National Guard was deployed to help quell the violence.

Earlier in the day, the Carter Center had called for the rioters to disband.

“While The Carter Center supports Americans’ right to protest peacefully, it strongly condemns threats or violence of any sort,” the center said in a statement. “We call on the mob inside the Capitol building to disband immediately and on all protestors to respect the 6 p.m. curfew. As many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have said, the democratic process of certifying the election results must be allowed to continue.”

Former Presidents George W. Bush, Obama and Clinton also condemned the riots in separate statements.