Missouri Gov. Mike Parson expressed dismay on Wednesday after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to derail certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“My understanding is the president told them not to commit any crimes,” Parson, a former law enforcement officer, said.
However, the state’s governor also said people should “absolutely not” lay blame for violence Wednesday, Jan. 6, on President Donald Trump or Republicans trying to block certification of presidential election results that declared Biden the winner.
On Twitter, the governor posted, “People have a right to peacefully protest, but protestors who violate the law must be held accountable. The lawlessness and rioting witnessed today in our nation’s Capitol are unacceptable. We as a nation are better than this.”
People have a right to peacefully protest, but protestors who violate the law must be held accountable. The lawlessness and rioting witnessed today in our nation’s Capitol are unacceptable.We as a nation are better than this.— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) January 7, 2021
Trump has, without evidence, claimed widespread fraud in the election and pushed Republican senators to pursue charges even though the Electoral College cemented Biden’s 306-232 victory and multiple legal efforts to challenge the results failed. Critics say the violence at the Capitol Wednesday was incited by Trump's claims.
“History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation,” former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, said in a statement.
Biden labeled action in Washington, D.C. Wednesday akin to sedition.
“Let me be very clear — the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are. What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It's chaos. It borders on sedition and it must end now,” he said.
Twitter blocked Trump's personal Twitter account for at least 12 hours Wednesday for "repeated and severe violations of our civic integrity policy.”
The @TwitterSafety account said the violations stem from three tweets, including a video Trump shared to his supporters telling them to "go home," but also repeating false claims that the November general election was "stolen from us."
"If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked," Twitter Safety said.
Dozens of Republican members of Congress, led by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, had planned to object to certifying the presidential election results. However, proceedings were suspended when rioters pushed past barricades, broke out windows at the Capitol and stormed the building Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Hawley said “violence must end” at the U.S. Capitol, but criticism from some Missouri residents characterize him as a traitor. The Kansas City Star, in an editorial, claimed Hawley has Wednesday night’s "blood on his hands” as a result of previous public declarations against the election results.
Statement from Senator Josh Hawley:Thank you to the brave law enforcement officials who have put their lives on the line. The violence must end, those who attacked police and broke the law must be prosecuted, and Congress must get back to work and finish its job— Senator Hawley Press Office (@SenHawleyPress) January 6, 2021
Hawley previously said he would object to election results because “some states, including notably Pennsylvania” did not follow their own election laws. Lawsuits challenging Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania have been unsuccessful.
“At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections,” Hawley previously said in a statement. Hawley has also criticized Facebook and Twitter's handling of content related to the election, characterizing it as an effort to help Biden.
Since the storming of the Capitol, other Missouri state leaders representing the Northland in Washington are denouncing the violence.
“Peaceful protests are protected by the Constitution, but this is not how we settle disputes in America,” posted U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, a Republican, on Twitter.
Peaceful protests are protected by the Constitution, but this is not how we settle disputes in America.The violence and lawlessness happening at the United States Capitol right now is completely unacceptable and un-American. This is not what democracy looks like.— Rep. Sam Graves (@RepSamGraves) January 6, 2021
“The events unfolding at the Capitol are shameful. There is no justification for violence and destruction. It has to stop now. This is not who we are as a nation,” wrote U.S Rep. Roy Blunt, a Republican, on Twitter.
The events unfolding at the Capitol are shameful. There is no justification for violence and destruction. It has to stop now. This is not who we are as a nation. Thank you to the Capitol Police who are keeping us safe.— Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) January 6, 2021
When later asked what he wants to hear from Trump, who has remained silent since telling protestors earlier Wednesday to go home while also reiterating that the election was “stolen” from him, Blunt said, “I don’t want to hear anything.”
“It was a tragic day and I think he was part of it,” Blunt said.
Since the violent outburst that has resulted in at least one death, a slew of Republicans in the Capitol have turned tide in regard to objections to election results. Several now say they will no longer object results declaring Biden the 46th president of the United States.