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Pro-Trump Extremists Storm Capitol In Deadly Attack

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The U.S. Capitol was attacked this week by people who call themselves patriots and tried to overturn an election. President Trump had called for supporters to rally in Washington, D.C., as Congress met to certify the votes of the Electoral College. All legal challenges - all of them - had been dismissed. But on Wednesday afternoon, Trump fired up a crowd outside the White House.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore. And that's what this is all about.

SIMON: Urged by Trump to head to the Capitol, the crowd started to march. The Capitol Police were outnumbered and offered little resistance as a mob entered the Capitol building.

(SOUNDBITE OF RIOT)

SIMON: Lawmakers pulled on gas masks and were told to crouch below their desks. The rioters broke glass and locks to get onto the floor of the House of Representatives. Many were armed and violent.

(SOUNDBITE OF RIOT)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: (Shouting) He has a gun. He has a gun. He has a gun.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Hey, he's got a gun.

SIMON: Condemnation has been swift. Here's Senator Chris Murphy, who was inside the Capitol building when the mob attacked.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

CHRIS MURPHY: There was a failure at almost every level to protect the Capitol. You know, you didn't have to be on the dark web to know that something really terrible might happen on Wednesday.

SIMON: There are so many unanswered questions. How did rioters enter the Capitol with so little resistance? Why were Black Lives Matter protesters, who were unarmed, treated with such force by federal officers last year while these white rioters were not? And why did it take so long to activate the National Guard?

As we speak this weekend, top officials have resigned or been fired. Democrats in the House are preparing an article of impeachment. Several lawmakers, including Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger, have called for the president to be removed from office.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ADAM KINZINGER: All indications are that the president has become unmoored not just from his duty or even his oath, but from reality itself. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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