'Banana republic crap:' Some Republicans turn on Trump over Capitol violence

Pro-Trump protesters wave banners during clashes with Capitol police at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A handful of U.S. congressional Republicans turned on President Donald Trump on Wednesday after a crowd of supporters stormed the Capitol building in a bid to help him overturn his defeat in the November election.

“We are witnessing absolute banana republic crap in the United States Capitol right now. @realDonaldTrump, you need to call this off,” Representative Mike Gallagher, a Republican who supports Trump, posted on Twitter as demonstrators broke windows to gain entry to the U.S. Capitol.

Representative James French Hill, who has voted with Trump more than 95% of the time, told CNBC: “The president bears part of the responsibility for the heated rhetoric.”

Trump supporters burst into the halls of Congress as Trump’s Republican allies aired their objections to the 2020 presidential election won by President-elect Joe Biden.

Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, called it “an insurrection” for demonstrators to storm the Capitol, smash windows, occupy offices, invade the halls of Congress and threaten the safety of duly elected officials.

“I could not agree more with President-elect Biden’s statement to the nation,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, said in a statement on Twitter that did not mention Trump.

Without naming Trump, Republican former President George W. Bush said in a statement, “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.”

Senator Mitt Romney, a frequent Trump critic, pointed the finger directly.

“What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States,” Romney said. “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.”

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