On Wednesday, pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol, upending the joint Congressional session to certify the victory of President-elect Joe Biden over outgoing President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
The insurrectionists were fueled by Trump's lies that widespread election fraud coordinated by Democrats tipped the election to Biden. Just before his supporters infiltrated the Capitol, Trump spoke to them at a "Save America" rally where he encouraged them to walk over to the Capitol to "fight" for them.
The Vice President was forced to evacuate as lawmakers and reporters hid from the mob in offices and behind chairs. Tear gas was deployed. Pipe bombs were found. Windows were shattered. Guns were drawn. Offices were ransacked. And by the end of the night, four people were dead.
After encouraging his supporters to descend on the Capitol, Trump issued haphazard calls to peace on his favorite social media outlet, Twitter. The calls for peaceful protests were obscured by his repetition of the very election lies that led to the siege. Trump's Twitter account was since locked for 12 hours as a result, for fear of the President inciting further violence.
The President has been largely out of sight in the day since the unprecedented attack, but White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany emerged to give a briefing to White House correspondents.
White House Holds Press Conference After Day Of Riots At Capitol | NBC News www.youtube.com
The briefing only lasted two minutes and McEnany took no questions despite the national confusion as Americans grapple with the assault on Democracy fomented by the President.
"Those who violently besieged our Capitol, are the opposite of everything this administration stands for. The core value of our administration, is the idea that all citizens have the right to live in safety, peace, and freedom."
The Press Secretary failed to address the fact that the President encouraged confrontations at the Capitol not only in his address immediately proceeding it, but throughout his months-long smear campaign against the democratic process and in the weeks leading up to the long-awaited joint session further confirming Biden's victory.
In the Twitter video calling for peace, Trump still told his supporters the election was stolen, assuring the rioters that he loved them and that they were "special."
Actor Mark Hamill—who knows a thing or two about taking down corrupt empires in galaxies far, far away—took the Press Secretary to task for claiming the administration didn't "stand for" violence.
Oh PLEASE! Those who violently besieged our capitol are EVERYTHING this administration stands for. Promoted on his social-media for months, supported in person on with an on-site speech. EVERYTHING he has ever said or done since coming down the escalator has been leading to this https://t.co/NW5dD7JqWI
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 7, 2021
Hamill noted that Trump's five years of political relevance—from his first speech decrying Mexicans as rapists and criminals, to his capitulation to Nazis marching in Charlottesville, to his instructions for the far-right Proud Boys militia to "stand by"—had all been leading to an attack on the Capitol by its own citizens.
The internet sided with Hamill on this one.
Luke Skywalker standing up to tyranny again. https://t.co/xMwobgrgsc
— Rogue Jedi Consular (@BryanRoush115) January 8, 2021
He was far from the only one to correct McEnany's absurd claim.
He...said he loved them and that they're very special. Yesterday. https://t.co/znqW4Odrre
— Adam Reilly (@reillyadam) January 7, 2021
"The opposite of everything this admin claims to stand for, but openly incites & backtracks to avoid being complicit." https://t.co/lKr0CwD2Yu
— Ms. Imani Writes Things (@ImaniKushan) January 7, 2021
Lol. They'll egg it on & egg it on from the sidelines, but when it comes time to own it, to face responsibility, they hide. Just cowardice at every level, in every moment. https://t.co/fxvRsO35ml
— David Roberts (@drvolts) January 7, 2021
They came to the city at the behest of the president, who then said that he loves them and said they should remember the day forever. https://t.co/vNWt7Qe5sc
— Emily 🥯 Tamkin (@emilyctamkin) January 7, 2021
Then why did @realDonaldTrump say he “loved them and that they were special" @PressSec ??? https://t.co/vmn4s529p5
— Luke Basham (@lbasham23) January 7, 2021
White House correspondents shouted questions for McEnany, but she ignored them as she left the room.