House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declared that “help is needed” in a live phone interview with CBS News, in response to a mob breaching the U.S. Capitol and Senate chambers following a “March for Trump” demonstration against certifying Electoral College votes.
What he’s saying: “I think for the security of others, I think help is needed,” McCarthy said. “Let’s get this under control.”
Where it stands: Senators, House members and reporters have been evacuated to undisclosed locations, per Axios reporters on the ground. Vice President Mike Pence, overseeing the certification of Electoral College votes, was evacuated from the Senate chamber around 2 p.m.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also connected with her caucus from a secure location, Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.) told C-SPAN.
- Approximately five weapons — including long guns and hand guns — were recovered in the wake of the riot and roughly 13 people were arrested, police officials said at a 5 p.m. press briefing with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. All those arrested were from outside states, with three people from Maryland.
What to watch: Bowser issued a citywide curfew in response to the incident from 6 p.m. on Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday, after readying the National Guard prior to the planned mass demonstrations by Trump supporters. The FBI has deployed SWAT teams into the Capitol, following evacuations.
- Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced around 3:30 p.m. that he will send members of the Virginia National Guard in response to the incident, as well as 200 state troopers, after talking with Bowser, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
- The D.C. guard was also mobilized and the Justice Department plan to lead law enforcement response, chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said.
- The National Guard is “on the way,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said after 3:30 p.m.
What we’re hearing: Protesters walked through the Capitol Statuary hall, which separates the House and Senate, filling into both sides with U.S. flags and MAGA flags.
- Reporters were advised just after 2:30 p.m. to “be prepared to get down” in their chairs and relocate, Axios’ Kadia Goba reports. She was in the chamber when members bolted the door and watched Capitol police draw their guns and point at the door.
- At 2:31 p.m., everyone was evacuated from the floor.
- A police officer stood in the center of the Cannon office building and shouted: “EVERYONE OUT, RIGHT NOW … WE’RE EVACUATING,” Axios’ Alayna Treene reports. Police ushered everyone toward the Longworth House Office Building.
Reactions: Trump urged his supporters “to go home” in a prerecorded video roughly two hours after the incident began, adding: “We love you. You’re very special. … I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.” He repeated false claims that the election was stolen from him, which was one of the driving causes of the “March for Trump” protest.
- In a joint statement, Pelosi and Schumer called on President Trump “to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately.”
- President-elect Joe Biden said the incident “borders on sedition” and called on Trump “to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”