Former Republican President George W. Bush expressed horror and disappointment at the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, which he referred to as an “insurrection.”
“Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our Nation’s government in disbelief and dismay,” Bush said in a statement. “It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight.”
Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters violently stormed the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stymie the formal certification of November’s election results. Rioters were seen stalking the halls searching for legislators and yelling, “Where the fuck are they?”
Some managed to breach the Senate chamber, while others entered legislative offices. Meanwhile, lawmakers sheltered in place ― some hiding under tables ― before law enforcement was able to evacuate them safely and secure the building.
Bush lambasted “some political leaders” for their behavior since the election, but he did not identify anyone by name.
“I am 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,” he said in his statement.
Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the election. Earlier Wednesday, he encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol building. “I’ll never concede,” he told them.
Trump lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden, who received 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 electoral votes.
Some Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Ted Cruz (Texas), have abetted Trump’s position. Hawley and Cruz are among a group of GOP legislators who have vowed to challenge the certification of the election results.