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Michelle Obama slams Trump, rioters at Capitol: 'They desecrated the center of American government'

Michelle Obama slams Trump, rioters at Capitol: 'They desecrated the center of American government'
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Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaAmanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance A Day in Photos: The Biden Inauguration Scorned and mistreated, Melania Trump deserved much better from the media MORE on Thursday issued a statement on Twitter condemning President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE and his supporters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, writing that the rioters “desecrated the center of American government.” 

Obama began by saying she started Wednesday “elated” at the Georgia Senate win for the Rev. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockRepublicans plan voting overhauls after Biden's win Refreshing the tree of liberty Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration MORE, who when sworn-in will be Georgia’s first Black senator and the first Black Democrat to represent a southern state in the Senate.

However, Obama added that “in just a few hours,” her “heart had fallen harder and faster than I can remember.” 

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“Like all of you, I watched as a gang—organized, violent, and mad they’d lost an election—laid siege to the United States Capitol,” she continued. “They set up gallows. They proudly waved the traitorous flag of the Confederacy through the halls. They desecrated the center of American government.”

The attorney and author then described that “once authorities finally gained control of the situation, these rioters and gang members were led out of the building not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days.”

“The day was a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can’t handle the truth of his own failures,” Obama continued, referring to Trump, whom GOP and Democratic lawmakers have blamed for Wednesday’s events due to his continued unsubstantiated claims of a “stolen” election, which initially served as the basis of Wednesday’s protests. 

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The former first lady continued by pointing out what she called a “disconnect” between the police response to Wednesday’s raid on the Capitol and the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests following the police killings of Black individuals, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. 

“In city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protestors met with brute force,” Obama wrote of the racial justice protests. “We saw cracked skulls and mass arrests, law enforcement pepper spraying its way through a peaceful demonstration for a presidential photo op.” 

“Seeing the gulf between the responses to yesterday’s riot and this summer’s peaceful protests and the larger movement for racial justice is so painful,” she continued. “I cannot think about moving on or turning the page until we reckon with the reality of what we saw yesterday.” 

Obama’s analysis echoed sentiments shared Thursday by President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models MORE, who argued the level of force used by law enforcement to quell Wednesday’s disorder revealed a blatant double standard

Biden went on to recall receiving a text from his granddaughter showing an image of numerous armed officers on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.

"She said 'Pop, this isn't fair,' " Biden said. "No one can tell me that if that had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol." 

In her statement Thursday, Obama went on to argue that “now is the time for swift and serious consequences for the failure of leadership that led to yesterday’s shame,” also calling on “Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior—and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection.” 

Facebook and Snapchat have both suspended Trump from their platforms indefinitely to prevent any speech that they said could provoke further violence following Wednesday’s events. 

Twitter on Wednesday temporarily suspended Trump’s account for the first time over posts the president shared about the mob of his supporters that stormed the Capitol. The platform said the suspension would remain in place until Trump deleted the tweets, which he did as of Thursday, according to a Twitter spokesperson.