White House Press Secretary condemns 'appalling' violence at Capitol

7 January 2021, 22:39 | Updated: 7 January 2021, 22:49

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany condemned the violence
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany condemned the violence. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has condemned the violence at the US Capitol as "appalling" and "reprehensible".

During a short statement, Kayleigh McEnany said: "Those who violently besieged our Capitol are the opposite of everything this administration stands for."

She told reporters the White House condemns the violence "in the strongest possible terms", saying it was "unacceptable".

“We condemn it, the President and this administration in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable. And those that broke the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Ms McEnany said.

She also called on America to "unite, to come together" and added: "We are one American people under God."

The president himself did not appear at the briefing and Ms McEnany did not take questions.

Earlier on Thursday, US President-elect Joe Biden condemned the mob who stormed Capitol as "domestic terrorists" whilst criticising Donald Trump for his "all out assault" on democracy.

Mr Biden said their actions were an "assault on our liberty".

During remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday, Mr Biden said people should not call the hundreds of Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol "protesters."

"Don't dare call them protesters - they were a riotous mob, insurrectionists," he said.The president elect then accused Trump of "unleashing an all-out assault on our institutions of democracy - and yesterday was the culmination".

He added it had been the "darkest day in the history of our nation".

House speaker Nancy Pelosi also spoke out against the president, saying Donald Trump committed a "seditious act", and said there had been an "unspeakable assault on our nation and our people".

She called for Mr Trump to be removed from office with immediate effect, and said the Democrats were pushing for his impeachment.

Ms Pelosi said she was expecting a quick decision from Vice President Mike Pence about whether to invoke the 25th amendment.

Mark Zuckerberg has also banned Donald Trump from Facebook and Instagram until he is out of the Oval Office, saying the risk of violence is "too great".

Twitter yesterday barred him from posting at all for 12 hours, and threatened him with permanently blocking him from the platform if he did not remove the incendiary tweets and video.

Writing on his own platform, Mr Zuckerberg said it was clear that Mr Trump intended to use his remaining time in office "to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden".

"We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great," Mr Zuckerberg said.

"Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete."

Mr Trump's incendiary comments have been blamed for directly provoking violence from a mob loyal to the president when they stormed the US Capitol in a failed attempt to overturn the election result and prevent Joe Biden taking to the White House.