Former first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday slammed President Donald Trump and those who rioted in the U.S. Capitol, saying they “desecrated the center of American government.”
“Like all of you, I watched as a gang — organized, violent, and mad they’d lost an election — laid siege to the United States Capitol,” Obama wrote in a statement shared to social media. “They set up gallows. They proudly waved the traitorous flag of the Confederacy through the halls. They desecrated the center of American government.”
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 7, 2021
“[O]nce authorities finally gained control of the situation, these rioters and gang members were led out of the building not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days,” the former first lady continued. “The day was a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can’t handle the truth of his own failures.”
Obama then asserted there was a “disconnect” between the Capitol police response and law enforcement’s actions during the summer’s riots and protests carried out by Black Lives Matter.
“In city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protestors met with brute force,” Obama wrote. “We saw cracked skulls and mass arrests, law enforcement pepper spraying its way through a peaceful demonstration for a presidential photo op.”
“Seeing the gulf between the responses to yesterday’s riot and this summer’s peaceful protests and the larger movement for racial justice is so painful,” she added. “I cannot think about moving on or turning the page until we reckon with the reality of what we saw yesterday.”
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser late Wednesday extended a public emergency for 15 days, blaming President Donald Trump for inciting his supporters to breach the U.S. Capitol earlier in the day, resulting in the death of a woman and at least 52 arrests.
The order had been issued and a 6 p.m. curfew imposed Wednesday afternoon after protesters breached police barricades and stormed the U.S. Capitol building as Congress was inside certifying the Electoral College win by Biden, prompting the procedures to be halted.