“Insurrection,” “attack on democracy,” “disgraceful,” this is how international leaders, a former president, and presidential nominee are referring to Wednesday’s violent riots in the U.S. Capitol building.
“What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States,” a statement from Senator, and former presidential nominee, Mitt Romney reads.
“It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight,” a statement from former President George Bush reads. “The violent assault on the Capitol ... was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”
Both Romney and Bush have disagreed with President Donald Trump in previous situations, and, recently, both had released statements following the election congratulating President-elect Joe Biden.
While other Republican lawmakers have condemned the violence, they have not necessarily pointed the finger of blame at Trump.
Former President Barack Obama tweeted that "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 Bill Clinton reacted to Wednesday's events.
Today we faced an unprecedented assault on our Capitol, our Constitution, and our country.— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) January 7, 2021
The assault was fueled by more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another.
Former President Jimmy Carter also condemned the riots.
"Rosalynn and I are troubled by the violence at the U.S. Capitol today," Carter said. "This is a national tragedy and is not who we are as a nation. Having observed elections in troubled democracies worldwide, I know that we the people can unite to walk back from this precipice to peacefully uphold the laws of our nation, and we must. We join our fellow citizens in praying for a peaceful resolution so our nation can heal and complete the transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries."
Meanwhile, international, leaders shared their sadness at seeing the images of violence and hopes for peace.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweetedthat his country is “deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States.”
Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour. Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld - and it will be.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 6, 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called them “disgraceful scenes.”
“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,” Johnson tweeted.
Disgraceful scenes in U.S. 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.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 6, 2021
Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defense called the scene "shocking and deeply sad."
"We must call this out for what it is: a deliberate assault on Democracy by a sitting President & his supporters, attempting to overturn a free & fair election! The world is watching!"
Shocking & deeply sad scenes in Washington DC - we must call this out for what it is: a deliberate assault on Democracy by a sitting President & his supporters, attempting to overturn a free & fair election! The world is watching!— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) January 6, 2021
We hope for restoration of calm. pic.twitter.com/1OdQYEB35K
Read more of Bush and Romney’s statements below.
“We gather today due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States. Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy.”
Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our Nation’s government in disbelief and dismay. It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes. Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation. In the United States of America, it is the fundamental responsibility of every patriotic citizen to support the rule of law. To those who are disappointed in the results of the election: Our country is more important than the politics of the moment. Let the officials elected by the people fulfill their duties and represent our voices in peace and safety.