News World US Donald Trump ‘Ship is sinking’: Growing calls to oust Donald Trump as allies condemn president
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‘Ship is sinking’: Growing calls to oust Donald Trump as allies condemn president

A protester holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol Building during the riot. Photo: AAP
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Donald Trump is facing a chorus of condemnation in the aftermath of the mob riots, with demands for his immediate removal, a staff exodus and an indefinite Facebook ban.

Former friends and allies including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mr Trump’s once-loyal defender William Barr slammed the president for orchestrating the mob.

Meanwhile, Washington DC police chief Robert Contee confirmed 68 rioters had been arrested and his department was working “to identify and hold each and every one of the violent mob accountable”.

The woman who was fatally shot has been identified as Ashli Babbitt, described by her family as an Air Force veteran and avid supporter of Trump.

It comes as United States lawmakers reconvened in the aftermath of the chaos and formally certified Democrat Joe Biden’s win in the Electoral College tally.

Mr Trump has just 13 days left in his term but there are growing demands to invoke the 25th Amendment to oust him, including by the Senate’s top Democrat and a Republican congressman.

A growing number of White House aides said they would quit, including envoy Mick Mulvaney, Mr Trump’s former chief of staff, and top Russia adviser Ryan Tully.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is the first Cabinet member to leave in the wake of the Capitol breach, CNN reports,

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a media briefing Mr Trump was “completely wrong” to rile up supporters.

“As you suggest in so far as he encouraged people to storm the Capitol, in so far as the president consistently has cast doubt on the outcome of a free and fair election, I believe that was completely wrong, what President Trump has been saying about that is completely wrong,” Mr Johnson said.

“I unreservedly condemn encouraging people to behave in the disgraceful way that they did in the Capitol.

“All I can say is that I’m very pleased that the president-elect has now been duly confirmed in office and that democracy has prevailed.”

Former Attorney General William Barr said Mr Trump’s behaviour was a “betrayal of his office and supporters” and that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable”.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Mr Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts would be blocked “indefinitely and at least for the next two weeks”.

“We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Mr Zuckerberg said in a statement.

“The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.

“His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world.

“We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect – and likely their intent – would be to provoke further violence.”

Donald Trump’s ‘ship is sinking’

In a stunning display of insurrection, President Donald Trump’s supporters broke into the US Capitol building on Thursday morning in an attempt to stop the confirmation of Mr Biden’s election victory.

With the world watching on in horror, pro-Trump marauders stormed the iconic building sending members of Congress running for safety, forcing evacuations after pipe bombs were found in nearby buildings, and resulting in four deaths and 52 arrests.

But Congress returned to the chamber in the afternoon to finish counting the vote and formalise Mr Biden’s Presidency.

The House rejected the attempt to overturn the Democrats victory in Arizona with a 303-to-121 vote in the House and 93-to-6 vote in the Senate.

Donald Trump held a “Save America Rally” before the mob violence. Photo: AAP

Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, who this week lost her seat in a nail-biting run-off election, was one of four Republicans to change their mind after the insurrection.

“When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes,” Senator Loeffler said.

“However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider, and I cannot now, in good conscience, object.”

Ms Loeffler’s remarks came after a slew of Republican leaders condemned the rioting, but many of them stopped short of laying any blame on Mr Trump.

“We must not bow to lawlessness and thugs,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said.

US political analyst and ANU Professor Wesley Widmaier said “a line has been crossed with Trump” and while many would not outright condemn him, they weren’t supporting him either.

President Trump rallied his supporters and refused to concede. Photo: AAP

“They are all backing away. The ship is sinking,” Professor Widmaier said.

We can trace a direct line from Trump’s incendiary rhetoric and outright lies about the 2020 election to the siege of the US Capitol last night.”

Many Americans watching the scene unfold would have found it “painful”, Professor Widmaier said.

“The capital is sacred to Americans. It is a sacred temple of democracy. It is very painful to see people smashing the windows and desecrating the speaker’s office.”

How the insurrection played out

10am

Mr Trump’s “Save America Rally” started in a park near the White House.

President Donald Trump speaks at the “Stop The Steal” Rally. Photo: AAP

Mr Trump spoke to protesters for more than hour, insisting the election had been stolen.

“Our country has had enough,” Mr Trump said.

“We will not take it any more and that’s what this is all about. To use a favourite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.”

When he finished, protesters wearing Make America Great Again apparel and carrying Confederate flags walked to Capitol Hill.

1pm

US lawmakers gathered for a joint session in the House of Representatives chamber to count Electoral College votes and ratify Mr Biden’s November win.

The House Chamber is seen during a joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes. Photo: AAP

1.10pm

Rioters began grappling with police on the Capitol steps.

About 2.15pm violence broke out.

Protesters attempt to enter the US Capitol Building. Photo: AAP
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the US Capitol. Photo: AAP
Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol’s Rotunda. Photo: AAP

The mob made their way up the exterior steps of the Capitol and began pushing through barricades.

Within minutes Mr Trump’s supporters had breached the Capitol Hill security.

Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol. Photo: AAP

2.37pm

Representative Jim Hines tweeted police, asking them to wear gas masks.

Law enforcement officers point their guns at a door that was vandalised in the House chamber after the Capitol was breached. Photo: AAP
People wear gas masks as the building is stormed. Photo: AAP

“Police have asked us to get gas masks out as there has been tear gas used in the rotunda,” he wrote.

A group of lawmakers were trapped in the House gallery. They barricaded the door, put on gas masks, and took off their lapel pins – which show they are politicians.

Republican Texas Representative Patrick Fallon wrote on Facebook: “We broke off furniture to make clubs to defend the US House of Representatives.”

Members of Congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber. Photo: AAP

2.39pm

Mr Trump tweeted: “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

Trump supporters storm the Capitol during clashes with police. Photo: AAP

2.44pm

Shots were reported in the House chamber.

Congress staffers barricade themselves after Trump supporters stormed the floor. Photo: AAP

Around this time lawmakers are escorted out, by police, their guns drawn. The mob had swarmed the hallways.

Representative Dean Phillips tweeted: “This is insane.”

3.03pm

Rioters entered the Senate floor.

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a citywide curfew beginning at 6pm.

A Trump supporter sits inside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after breaching the Capitol. Photo: AAP
A Trump supporter is seen hanging from the balcony in the Senate Chamber. Photo: AAP

3.13pm

Mr Trump tweeted: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”

A pro-Trump supporter carries the lectern of US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Photo: AAP
The Senate is overrun with Trump supporters. Photo: AAP

3.40pm

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced the 1100 members of the National Guard were on their way.

4.05pm

Congressional leaders were evacuated from the Capitol.

A Congress staffer holds up his hands while the Capitol Police Swat team checks everyone in the room as they secure the floor. Photo: AAP

President-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation, calling the actions of Trump supporters “an insurrection”.

“Our democracy is under unprecedented assault,” Mr Biden said.

4.17pm

Mr Trump posted a video to Twitter addressing the chaos.

Damage is seen inside the US Capitol building after supporters leave. Photo: AAP

“I know your pain,” he said.

“I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace.”

7.02pm

Twitter locked Mr Trump out of his account for at least 12 hours over “repeated and severe violations” of its civic integrity policy.

8pm

Congress reconvened to resume counting Electoral College votes.

Congress reconvenes to count the votes. Photo: AAP

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