The U.S. National Guard is on its way to the Capitol after nearly two hours of protests outside and inside the building that, among other things, disrupted a joint session of Congress aimed at counting Electoral College votes, The Associated Press reports.
The White House said shortly before 4 p.m. that National Guard troops and other federal protective services were en route to the Capitol to assist in clearing the building and grounds of President Donald Trump’s supporters who began a violent occupation there around 2 p.m., which is when U.S. Capitol Police began evacuating some Congressional buildings, The AP reports.
Trump’s supporters are seeking to thwart the certification of the 2020 presidential election, the report said.
Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that “At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services. … We reiterate President Trump’s call against violence and to remain peaceful.”
Video footage of the scene shows people breaking windows to breach the Capitol Building, standing on government vehicles and engaging violently with law enforcement, which has been unable to quell the unrest thus far. Video has also surfaced of a woman being shot inside the Capitol.
Republican lawmakers, many speaking to reporters on national television, have publicly called for Trump to condemn the violence and to call to an end to the occupation.
Trump lost the November election to Democrat Joe Biden. He has refused to concede and has worked over the last two months to convince his supporters that widespread voter fraud prevented his own victory.