President Donald Trump told his millions of followers to “stay peaceful” after encouraging his supporters to march on the US Capitol in a speech at the National Mall, leading to bedlam at the building after supporters broke in.
On Wednesday, the president tweeted that people should “support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement” amid full-fledged chaos breaking out at the Capitol.
Trump sent his tweets on the heels of dozens of his supporters storming the Capitol grounds, forcing members of Congress to either evacuate or shelter in place.
The president did not send any other tweet indicating that the rioters should stop or retreat.
Multiple reports indicated that shots were fired in the House chamber and that glass doors were shattered. Videos posted to Twitter revealed supporters angrily chanting and carrying Confederate flags.
The mayhem began shortly after Trump’s speech at Wednesday’s “Save America March,” where he told his supporters he’d be joining them in a march to the Capitol.
During his rambling, sometimes incoherent speech, Trump expressed his irritation with Vice President Mike Pence.
“Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and the good of our country,” Trump said in the speech. “And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you, I will tell you right now.”
Pence was later ushered out of the Senate chamber and taken to a secure location when Trump’s supporters broke in.