After an extraordinary day of violence and political discord in the US capital that left four people dead, American newspapers have released their front pages covering the unprecedented assault on the US Congress by Trump supporters.
“Rampage in the capital forces evacuations: ‘It’s part of his legacy’ a Republican says,” The New York Times headline reads above an image of rioters climbing the walls of US congress.
The Los Angeles Times front page shows an image of security officials with their weapons drawn and aimed toward rioters moments before the angry mob smashed their way through the House Chamber: “Trump-incited mob storms US Capital,” the front page reads.
Just some of the many shocking moments that played out publicly across the world as the once respected democracy came under assault from hundreds of protesters angered by Trump’s loss to his Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the November presidential election.
The president has two weeks left in office but there are calls for him to be removed immediately with his baseless election lies and claims of election fraud being blamed for inciting the violence.
Washington Post calls for Trump’s head
The Washington Post Editorial Board took the unusual step of publishing a piece arguing Trump in “unfit to remain in office” even for 14 days and calling for his removal.
“Every second he retains the vast powers of the presidency is a threat to public order and national security,” the newspaper wrote.
The Baltimore Sun editorial board issued a scathing editorial laying blame for the violence on Wednesday at the feet of Trump and his futile efforts to hold onto power.
“Make no mistake: The surreal scene at the US Capitol Wednesday that temporarily shut down the Electoral College vote count and led to at least one death was directly brought on by Donald Trump,” the Sun wrote.
“He's responsible for every critically injured person, every terrorised police officer and every single broken window caused by the violent mob of his so-called supporters. The president of the United States incited this riot.”
‘The match was lit by Donald Trump’: World leaders react
Leaders around the world condemned the violence in the US capital and lamented the dark turn the country has taken under Trump.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison – who just weeks ago accepted a Legion of Merit medal from Donald Trump – condemned the violence, describing it as “distressing”.
“We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of Government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition.”
New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern said democracy is not undone by a mob.
“Democracy - the right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully should never be undone by a mob. Our thoughts are with everyone who is as devastated as we are by the events of today. I have no doubt democracy will prevail,” she tweeted.
UK Prime Minister described the scene as “disgraceful”, calling for the January 20 transfer of power from President Trump to President Elect Biden to a “peaceful and orderly”.
Former President Bill Clinton pointed the finger directly at Trump.
“Today we faced an unprecedented assault on our Capitol, our Constitution, and our country… The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost. The election was free, the count was fair, the result is final,” he tweeted.
At least 40 Democrats in the House have gone on record in recent days speaking of the imperative to remove Trump from power.
Among the most damning condemnations of Trump came from his former Defence Secretary James Mattis.
"Today's violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr Trump," Mattis, who left the administration in December 2018, told Politico.
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