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Sasse blames Trump for riot at Capitol: 'Lies have consequences'

Republican Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseFormer official acknowledges final days in office a 'black eye' for Trump Republican senators and courage The next pandemic may be cyber — How Biden administration can stop it MORE (Neb.) blamed President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE for the riots and violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, saying the president "cowered behind his keyboard." 

"Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution," Sasse, who has been a critic of Trump's in the past, said in a statement. 

"Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division," he continued. 

Violence broke out at the Capitol on Wednesday after thousands of Trump supporters descended upon Capitol Hill opposing the Electoral College results. 

House and Senate lawmakers had met in a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College votes showing President-elect Joe Biden’s win, but some Republican senators led by Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot Hawley, Cruz see approval ratings dip in wake of Capitol riot: poll MORE (Texas) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyTrump DHS chief argues for swift confirmation of Biden pick amid Hawley hold Overnight Defense: Austin takes helm at Pentagon | COVID-19 briefing part of Day 1 agenda | Outrage over images of National Guard troops in parking garage Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot MORE (Mo.), planned to challenge the results. 

Sasse strongly criticized the efforts to oppose the results, calling it "dangerous." 

"Let’s be clear what is happening here: We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage," Sasse wrote in an open letter to constituents last week. 

"But they’re wrong — and this issue is bigger than anyone’s personal ambitions. Adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government," he added.

Trump released a video message hours after the rioters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, telling them to go home. However, the president repeated his unfounded clams of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election during that video. 

“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.”

"This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people," he continued. "We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace."