(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Supporters of President Donald Trump who rallied outside the U.S. Capitol clashed with police officers and breached the building Wednesday, forcing a lockdown with members of Congress inside.
The clashes began as Trump and his allies held a rally pushing the Senate to refuse to certify the election for President-elect Joe Biden.
“If you are in a public space, find a place to hide or seek cover,” U.S. Capitol Police told people inside the building.
The protesters pushed ahead of barricades and a wall of police officers in riot gear to get into the building. Inside, the Trump supporters, many of whom appeared to be without face coverings, waved “Trump 2020” flags, shouted chants and moved freely.
President Trump, who was at the White House, tweeted at 2:39 p.m., “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
Fifteen minutes earlier, he had tweeted that Vice President Mike Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution,” and “USA demands the truth!”
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., tweeted, “Police have asked us to get gas masks out as there has been tear gas used in the rotunda.”
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a citywide curfew beginning at 6 p.m. and ending Thursday at 6 a.m.
“During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District,” the mayor’s office said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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