NC lawmakers denounce violent clashes in Washington

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Thursday, January 7, 2021
NC lawmakers denounce violent clashes in Washington
North Carolina's elected officials denounced the violent clashes at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday that brought Congress to a standstill.

North Carolina's elected officials denounced the violent clashes Wednesday that brought Congress to a standstill.

The U.S. Capitol was locked down Wednesday with lawmakers inside as supporters of President Donald Trump overwhelmed Capitol Police and made their way inside the chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The lockdown lasted nearly four hours.

As a result, Congress was forced to abruptly halt deliberations Wednesday over Republican challenges to the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC, was not among the Republicans objecting to the Electoral College certification showing Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden the winner. Tillis said the violence was "a national disgrace."

"I proudly back the blue and support law and order, which is why I condemned the violence that took place in cities across the nation this summer," Tillis said on social media. "It's a national disgrace to have a mob attacking Capitol Police and engaging in anarchy. This is not what America stands for."

Hours after the chaos, the senator said, "We should not let the disgraceful assault on the Capitol and our democratic system stop Congress from fulfilling its Constitutional duty tonight."

North Carolina's other senator, Republican Richard Burr, did not immediately release a statement. His office told ABC11 that Burr was safe but not doing interviews.

On Wednesday evening, Burr finally spoke out and said blamed the president for the violence that unfolded in Washington.

"For nearly 250 years, our nation's commitment to the peaceful transition of power has been the shining hallmark of our democracy. Today, America's core principles were threatened by those seeking to forcibly stop our electoral process and overturn the results of a presidential election with which they disagreed," he said. "Let me be clear: these actions are not a defense of this country, but an attack on it.

"I supported President Trump's legal right to contest the election results through the courts, but the courts have now unanimously and overwhelmingly rejected these suits," Burr continued. "No evidence of voter fraud has emerged that would warrant overturning the 2020 election. The President bears responsibility for today's events by promoting the unfounded conspiracy theories that have led to this point. It is past time to accept the will of American voters and to allow our nation to move forward. Congress will uphold its constitutional duty and certify the results of the election."

Republican Rep. Richard Hudson told ABC11 that he condemns "all violence of any kind" and is "saddened to see what has taken place in the U.S. Capitol today."

"Thank you to the brave men and women of the Capitol Police who risk their lives to serve and protect the public,' Hudson said. "Renee and I are praying for our country and for the safety of the Capitol Police and everyone in the Capitol complex today."

Hudson said violence won't change the outcome of the election.

Gov. Roy Cooper, who earlier in the day extended the state's stay-at-home order, called what happened in Washington "terrorism."

"The peaceful transition of power is the hallmark of our democracy," Cooper said. "Today's terrorism is not who we are. This attack on our country must be overcome. America is better than this."

Democrat David Price, who represents the 4th District, which includes parts of Wake, Durham and Orange counties, said he was safe.

"Pro-Trump protesters have stormed the U.S. Capitol building, forcing the House into recess. I am safe. Thank you to our brave Capitol Police officers who are actively working to protect Members, staff, and the press."

WATCH: Interview with Congressman David Price

Rep. David Price discussed what he saw and heard as Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building.

Not all were safe, however. A woman who was shot inside the U.S. Capitol amid a melee with Trump supporters, later died.

It is unclear what led to the shooting or whether law enforcement was involved.

Several Capitol Police officers were reportedly injured.

Trump took to Twitter first to call for an end to the violent actions and then told protesters in a video message to go home and "go home in peace."

Biden called the violent protests "an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people's business."

Rep. Dan Bishop, who represents the 9th Congressional District said "we solve our problems through debate and peaceful protests, not violence."

Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield told ABC11 that he is safe in his office but unsettled by what's unfolding.

Another Democrat, Deborah Ross, of North Carolina's 2nd District, said the peaceful transition of power "is a core tenet of our democracy" and one that "we, the people, have always respected."

"Today's dangerous events, incited by hate and misinformation from the highest levels, are heartbreaking and wrong," Ross said. "They have no place in our political discourse. A majority of Americans spoke with their votes in the 2020 election and their voices need to be heard - and certified.

"I strongly condemn today's violence and call on all elected leaders to do the same," Ross added. "It's time to recommit to working to heal our divisions and move America forward."

Republican Rep. David Rouzer, of NC's 7th District called the actions of protesters "despicable."

"Thank you to all who have reached out. My staff and I are safe," Rouzer said. " The lawlessness witnessed at the Capitol today is despicable and should be condemned in the strongest possible way. This is not who we are as a nation. A vigorous debate and differences of opinion should never - ever - be an excuse for lawlessness and violence. Praying for our Capitol Police, other law enforcement personnel and those injured today,"

The North Carolina Republican Party tweeted that Wednesday's events were an "assault on the foundations of our Democracy."

The NCGOP "strongly condemns the actions of those who have resorted to these actions," NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley said.

Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, who represents North Carolina's 11th District, also condemned the violence.

"The violence that we are witnessing at the United States Capitol is completely unacceptable," McHenry said. "I am thankful to the brave men and women of the Capitol Police who are doing their duty and working diligently to keep everyone in the Capitol safe. God bless our law enforcement."

The North Carolina Democratic Party called Wednesday a "sad, dark day for our democracy."