WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The U.S. Capitol went under lock down Wednesday with lawmakers inside as violent clashes broke out between supporters of President Donald Trump and police. Hundreds of people breached security perimeters at the Capitol as members of Congress inside the House chamber were instructed to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the Rotunda. Lawmakers had been meeting to affirm Joe Biden’s election victory.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) told NewsNation members of Congress in chambers were evacuated at different times.
“Leadership first, then they continued and then there was another breach into the Statutory Hall — which is steps away from the floor,” Quigley said. “Masks were pulled out from underneath our seats. Tear gas was dispersed inside the Statutory Hall. More members were evacuated, we were moved to a corner, members told to lay down or get very low. Capitol police, crouch with their guns drawn. It’s kind of surreal to describe.”
Watch Rep. Mike Quigley’s full interview on NewsNation:
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) reacted on Twitter, calling out the actions of protesters: “This is a coup attempt.”
Kinzinger spoke with NewsNation by phone Wednesday afternoon from a safe undisclosed location about the siege on the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were sheltering in place.
“This is an absolute coup, it won’t succeed, this is America. The guardrails of democracy will hold strong but I can’t imagine, I could never imagine a scene that we are seeing today,” Kinzinger said. “This is a disaster and this is from a Republican perspective, this will be a stain on our party and is exactly why I have been outspoken because I have seen this coming and it is time to change and restore the GOP that people used to know.”
Watch Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s full interview on NewsNation:
Kinzinger reacted to President Trump’s tweets to direct protests to remain peaceful and sending in the National Guard to the Capitol grounds.
“Bless his heart a guy who knows how to tweet very aggressively on Twitter puts out one of the weakest statements on one of the saddest days of American history because his ego won’t let him admit defeat,” said Kinzinger, “I think they should of called out the guard a long time ago.”
He said the Republican party needs a “real come to Jesus” and said anyone who objects to the “electors after this should be held accountable.”
Other legislators took to social media to express their opinions and show the scenes of chaos inside the Capitol building as they were ushered to safety:
This is a developing story, refresh for updates.