As she was being evacuated to safety on Wednesday afternoon, Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming said she couldn’t believe the rioters violently storming the US Capitol could be “Trump supporters.”
Thousands of Donald Trump’s supporters staged an attempted coup at the Capitol Wednesday, while Congress was in the process of certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory, causing an evacuation of members of Congress, staff, and reporters.
“I hope it’s not Trump supporters that are involved in the mayhem,” Lummis told a reporter as they were escorted to a safe location, according to a pool report. “It seems like other forces like antifa were advocating violence.”
The president’s supporters held Trump signs and Blue Lives Matter flags and chanted pro-Trump slogans as they stormed the building, breaking through barricades of police officers and breaching the building's doors. The rioters smashed windows and forced their way into the House chamber, triggering an armed standoff with Capitol police and the release of tear gas into the building. They later breached the Senate chamber as well.
The attempted coup occurred at the urging of President Trump. He has since tweeted a message to his followers urging them to support the Capitol police and to “stay peaceful!”
As Lummis was escorted out, the senator told the reporter that in her “previous experience with Trump supporters they have been peaceful demonstrators, happy people, very patriotic, pro-America,” she said. “So now if that has changed, I will be heartbroken.”
Since the election, Trump's supporters have held two other smaller gatherings in Washington that also grew violent. On Tuesday night, Trump's supporters clashed with police in DC.