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Four dead in protest

Trump finally concedes following Congress violence

Four people died and dozens were injured as supporters of outgoing president Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in Washington smashing windows and engaging in violent struggles with police during Senate proceedings to confirm Joe Biden’s election to the White House.

On Thursday morning Vice President Mike Pence officially ended Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn the election and certified the result of the election.

Trump finally accepted his fate, saying there would be an “orderly transition” – but still claimed that the election was stolen. This was in spite of 50 states, a series of judges and the Congress dismissing all challenges to the result.   

After Mr Pence confirmed Mr Biden’s victory, Trump said: “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20.

“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”  

Protesters, waving flags supporting Trump, breached the Senate chamber on Wednesday and made their way inside as senators were rushed from the room by security. A woman, later identified as a female US Air Force veteran,  was the first to die from a gunshot wound. Ashli Babbit, 35, from San Diego, was shot in the chest when she tried to clamber through a barricaded entrance.

Dozens of police were also injured in the violence.

Trump protestors at Congress

Hundreds of people were seen climbing the marble steps outside the building. They banged on the locked doors of the Capitol and smashed the glass in the doors.

Trump tweeted for demonstrators to “support Capitol Police and Law Enforcement” adding: “They are truly on the side of our country,” he wrote. “Stay peaceful!”

He later called the National Guard, said the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

His intervention came after tear gas was used in an attempt to clear the rotunda which sits beneath the famous Dome.

Democratic representative Gerry Connolly said on twitter: “We’ve been given gas masks on the House floor. Tear gas has been used in the Rotunda.”

Mr Pence, presiding in the Senate, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, presiding in the House, were removed from their respective chambers for their own safety.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew beginning at 1800 EST.

The extraordinary scenes unfolded after a rally earlier when Trump encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol, where lawmakers were certifying the electoral college vote for Joe Biden.

It also coincided with Mr Biden’s Democratic Party winning control of the Senate – and of Congress overall – with two victories in the state of Georgia.

Democrats will control the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House for the first time since 2009, an outcome that saw big rises on stock markets.

Wall Street finished on a mixed note. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.44% and the S&P 500 added 0.57%, while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.61% weaker.

Commentators warned that the ease by which the protestors were able to breach security has raised concern around Inauguration Day on 20 January.

President-elect Mr Biden told Mr Trump to order his extremist mob’ out of the US Capitol, blaming the president for “stoking the flames of hate and chaos”.

Speaking from Delaware, he said: “I call on President Trump to go on national television to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”

Twitter later suspended Mr Trump’s account for 12 hours and for the first time deleted his tweets after he praised the mob who stormed Congress and said he ‘loved’ them.

YouTube and Facebook followed suit by removing the posts, with Facebook and Instagram also blocking Trump from their platform for 24 hours.

Snapchat blocked him on Wednesday morning, saying their locking of his account was indefinite. 

British politicians condemned the protests. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Disgraceful scenes in US Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “Horrendous scenes from the US.

“These are not ‘protestors’ – this is a direct attack on democracy and legislators carrying out the will of the American people.”

One Senate representative, Ayanna Pressley of Minnesota, called for impeachment proceedings against the president. “This is dangerous & unacceptable,’ she said. “Donald J. Trump should immediately be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate as soon as Congress reconvenes.”

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