Washington lawmakers tweet in hiding as Trump mob takes over U.S. Capitol
A "coup," "mob," "a dark day for our republic," and "domestic terrorism" are just a few words Washington's lawmakers used to describe the scene when a pro-Trump mob broke into the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday afternoon.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle spoke out while they were placed into lockdown and local police declared a riot.
"I am safe and sheltering in place," said Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle on Twitter, who could also be seen on video from within chambers.
"I wholeheartedly condemn this violence. This is not who we are, and this needs to stop immediately," Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse tweeted.
Former Washington state GOP chair Susan Hutchison, appeared to tweet from the side of demonstrators outside the capitol building: "Despite the peaceful protest, capitol police have fired at least a dozen tear gas canisters into the crowd. Wind is winning."
The mob broke into the capitol building in DC as the House and Senate were debating objections to the count of electoral college votes in battleground states. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a eastern Washington state Republican, previously said she would oppose votes from battleground states. As the mob marched through the building, she took a stern tone. "Stop this now," she wrote on Twitter.
By Wednesday evening, McMorris Rodgers released a statement, backtracking on her decision to oppose the election results. Her statement called for a peaceful transition of power: "What happened today and continues to unfold in the nation’s capital is disgraceful and un-American. Thugs assaulted Capitol Police Officers, breached and defaced our Capitol Building, put people’s lives in danger, and disregarded the values we hold dear as Americans. To anyone involved, shame on you .... I have decided I will vote to uphold the Electoral College results and I encourage Donald Trump to condemn and put an end to this madness.”
Unlike McMorris Rodgers, Washington's two other Republican representatives, Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Beutler, said they would not object to the election results. Beutler's office said she was safe amid the break in. She stated that capitol police told her they detonated four bombs outside the building as she was being taken to safety.
Senator Maria Cantwell's office said the representative and her staff were safe. Other politicians from Washington also spoke out Wednesday afternoon.
Rep. DelBene also told KING5 that "The president created this scenario we are in right now. He encouraged people to come to the capitol, he encouraged people to be disruptive. He can stop this and let our democratic process to move forward. He is very much a part of the disruption and activity that is taking place at the capitol today, unfortunately."
The head of Washington state's GOP, Caleb Heimlich, also commented as news was breaking.
And former Washington state GOP chair Susan Hutchison appeared to be tweeting from among the demonstration in DC.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson was quick to call the incident a "coup."