In a statement, Obama said the outgoing president had “incited” the violence with his torrent of lies about the presidential election.
“History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation,” the statement read.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed the November election results as fraudulent. Earlier on Wednesday, he told supporters that he would “never concede” and encouraged them to march on the Capitol building, where legislators had gathered to formally certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Hundreds of Trump’s supporters later violently stormed the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to evacuate.
In his statement, Obama said the insurrection was shocking but should not come as a “total surprise,” given the GOPs “fantasy narrative” post-election.
“For two months now, a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth — that this was not a particularly close election and that President-Elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20. Their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo,” he wrote.
Earlier on Wednesday, former President George W. Bush also expressed “disbelief and dismay” at the violence and urged “every patriotic citizen to support the rule of law.”
Unlike Obama, Bush did not explicitly lambast Trump but said he was “appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election.”
“To those who are disappointed in the results of the election: Our country is more important than the politics of the moment,” Bush said in a statement.