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How The United States Arrived At Pro-Trump Extremists Breaching The Capitol Building

A man holding signs and flags in support of President Donald Trump is seen in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
A man holding signs and flags in support of President Donald Trump is seen in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

An insurrectionist mob supporting President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as a part of a riot against the results of the election. Four people died on the Capitol grounds. Pipe bombs and a cooler of Molotov cocktails were found in the area.

Slate’s Aymann Ismail was with some of the insurrectionists as they breached the Capitol:

The people I managed to speak to didn’t seem to understand the gravity of what they had done. Inside a building they had broken into, they described themselves as “peaceful” to me. I talked to a kid from Florida, who must have been no more than 17 or 18. He told me, “This is nothing compared to what Antifa does.” I said, “Look, they’re breaking the glass.” He answered, “Yeah, but at least they’re not destroying the things.” I showed him pictures of things destroyed. It didn’t register. On the way up, there was a woman holding a sign saying, “If we were leftists, we would be rioting.”

After multiple calls to do so by Republicans and Democrats, in the afternoon, President Trump asked the mob to stay peaceful. In the same video posted to Twitter, President Trump also insisted the election was stolen from him, which is a lie. After these videos were posted, the president was banned from his Twitter account for 12 hours.

The insurrection was the third MAGA-related event in the last few months as Trump-affiliated demonstrators previously clashed with counter-protesters and police in November and December.

— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) January 6, 2021

— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) January 6, 2021

For the latest on what’s happening in the capital, follow WAMU and DCist.

How did the United States get to insurrectionists storming the U.S. Capitol? We talk about that question and talk with you.

We’re also talking about what’s ahead after this insurrection. Find that conversation here.

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