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President-elect Joe Biden called on President Donald Trump to go on television to demand an end to what he called a “siege” of the U.S. Capitol.
“The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America,” Biden said Wednesday in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware. “They do not represent who we are. What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness.”
“I call on this mob to pull back allow the work of democracy to go forward,” he said. “I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”
Biden said that presidents “at their worst can incite” action, without directly blaming Trump for his political supporters storming the Capitol, disrupting congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory.
“It’s not protest,” Biden said. “It’s insurrection.”
Trump himself, in a video released two hours after the mob entered the Capitol, urged his supporters to “go home.”
Biden didn’t answer a question about whether he had spoken to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell but said he is not concerned about his personal safety or the security of his Jan. 20 inauguration.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump urged thousands of his supporters to march on the Capitol in a rally in Washington before the congressional session to count Electoral College votes. He has issued two tweets calling on protesters inside the Capitol to refrain from violence, especially against law enforcement officers, but has not explicitly called on them to leave.
His press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said Trump had ordered the National Guard deployed after appeals from Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser.