Some of the toughest criticism of outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump over the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday came from his fellow Republicans, with some calling for his immediate exit from government ahead of Joe Biden being sworn in as president.
“We gather today due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning,” said remarks prepared by U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, a onetime Republican presidential nominee, for delivery at Wednesday’s Senate session.
Speaking Wednesday night, Mr. Romney said the truth is that Mr. Biden won the election. “President Trump lost. I’ve had that experience myself. It’s no fun,” Mr. Romney said referring to his own 2012 bid for the presidency.
The Republican Governor of Vermont, declaring the fabric of American democracy and the principles of the republic under attack, said Mr. Trump’s time is up.
“Enough is enough. President Trump should resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet, or by the Congress,” Phil Scott wrote in a thread on Twitter.
Mr. Scott said Mr. Trump “orchestrated a campaign to cause an insurrection that overturns the results of a free, fair and legal election,” whose results have been validated by Republican governors, conservative judges and non-partisan election officials across the United States.
George W. Bush, the last living former Republican U.S. president, did not specifically name Mr. Trump, but left little doubt about the focus of his anger on Wednesday.
In a statement, Mr. Bush said he and his wife were “appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions and our law enforcement.”
“The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes. Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation.”
Mr. Bush directed a specific comment to “those who are disappointed by the results of the election,” noting, “Our country is more important than the politics of the moment. Let the officials elected by the people fulfill their duties and represent our voices in peace and safety.”
Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, said in a tweet that there was “no question” that Mr. Trump formed the mob that attacked the Capitol in an attempt to prevent those present from carrying out their constitutional duty. “The President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended the integrity of the election that Mr. Trump claims was stolen, with the veteran legislator describing some of the President’s concerns as “sweeping conspiracy theories.”
Mr. McConnell, speaking Wednesday, said he had supported Mr. Trump’s right to take his concerns to the courts, but that the courts and some judges that the President had nominated had rejected the claims.
“The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken,” he said. “If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever,” he said. “If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We would never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years would be a scramble for power at any cost.”
Larry Hogan, the Republican Governor of Maryland, said he never thought he would see a day like this in America. “All Americans should be outraged by this attack on our nation’s Capitol,” Mr. Hogan said in a video statement posted to Twitter.
“This is a heinous and violent assault on the heart of our democracy. They’re threatening the lives of members of Congress and the Vice-President for upholding the constitution and affirming the voter’s choice of Joe Biden as our next president. I will not stand for any of this. Nor should any American.”
He said that in addition to sending in 200 Maryland District State Police, he was, after speaking to the secretary of the army, mobilizing 500 Maryland National Guard members to help restore law and order.
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