US lawmakers react to DC protest that has locked down the Capitol

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Thursday, January 7, 2021
Protesters supporting President Trump breach US Capitol Building
Protesters supporting President Trump breach US Capitol Building during the certification of Joe Biden's presidential victory.

WASHINGTON D.C. -- In the U.S. Capitol, a massive crowd of protesters forced a lockdown as members of Congress inside debated over Republican challenges to Joe Biden's presidential victory.

During the protest, a violent clash broke out between supporters of President Donald Trump and police. With the Capitol under lockdown and lawmakers sheltering in place, Congressional members from both sides of the aisle took to social media to call on the protesters to stop.

SEE ALSO: Shots reportedly fired in US Capitol as lawmakers evacuate, pro-Trump protesters swarm

Former President Barack Obama said history would remember Wednesday "as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation." But also expressed hope.

"I've been heartened to see many members of the President's party speak up forcefully today," Obama said. "Their voices add to the examples of Republican state and local election officials in states like Georgia who've refused to be intimidated and have discharged their duties honorably. We need more leaders like these - right now and in the days, weeks, and months ahead as President-Elect Biden works to restore a common purpose to our politics. It's up to all of us as Americans, regardless of party, to support him in that goal."

Gabby Giffords, former member of the United States House of Representatives representing Arizona, who resigned due to a severe brain injury suffered during an assassination attempt and whose husband was just sworn in as a U.S. Senator for Arizona, shared a poignant message.

"As I sat waiting for information about @SenMarkKelly's safety today, I couldn't stop thinking about what you must have gone through 10 years ago this week," noting it has been almost exactly a decade ago this week since her attack.

"I'm so glad you and your staff are safe. I love you, sweetie," Giffords concluded.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger called the current events a "coup attempt."

Kinzinger also called out Trump, claiming he is "not protecting the country."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also called out President Trump and said, "It is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down."

Prior to that, Rubio also tweeted that the events at Capitol Hill are "a third world style anti-American anarchy."

Rep. Brian Mast of Florida called the scene "unpatriotic" and called on the protesters to stop "so we can return to our democratic process."

WATCH: Video shows pro-Trump protesters scaling US Capitol Building

Video shows pro-Trump protesters scaling US Capitol Building during joint session to confirm President-elect Biden's win.

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse shared with followers that he was safe and had been evacuated.

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey described the incident as an "absolute disgrace."

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas tweeted at protesters that "violence is ALWAYS wrong." He added that those engaged in violence are hurting the cause they say they support."

As the events unfolded, Cruz tweeted "violence is unacceptable. Even when passions run high."

SEE ALSO: Lockdown interrupts joint session to confirm Biden's win as Trump supporters storm Capitol Hill

California Rep. Karen Basse said she was safe and, like Kinzinger, also called the incident a "coup."

Rep. Judy Chu added that Trump and his supporters "who are spreading lies about the election are responsible and they need to put an end to this incitement."

While Rep. Eric Swalwell also added that, "Any elected official who does not denounce this full-frontal assault on our democracy is assisting a coup attempt on the Capitol."

In the midst of the events, President Trump also took to Twitter to call on his supports to "remain peaceful" and to respect law enforcement.

SEE ALSO: Trump tells protesters who swarm Capitol in DC to 'go home'; 1 reportedly shot during melee

Vice President Mike Pence, who, as Senate president, presided over the electoral confirmation as the chaos began, also tweeted to followers. "The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now," Pence tweeted.

Maryland Sen. Bill Cassidy called on Trump to "condemn the violence" taking place on Capitol Hill.

Minneapolis Rep. Ilhan Omar shared on Twitter she was drawing up Articles of Impeachment, adding "Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate. We can't allow him to remain in office, it's a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath."

During the series of events, a woman was reportedly shot inside the U.S. Capitol amid a melee with Trump supporters, sources told ABC News. She was seriously injured, sources said. It is unclear what led to the shooting or if law enforcement was involved.