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Capitol breached by pro-Trump protesters, woman shot inside dies

A woman was shot and killed during a standoff inside t...
01/07/2021

Capitol breached by pro-Trump protesters, woman shot inside dies



A woman was shot and killed during a standoff inside the U.S. Capitol between law enforcement and supporters of President Donald Trump, who breached the building, forcing a lockdown with members of Congress inside.

The protesters, some of who were seen wearing body armor, made their way up the steps around 2:15 p.m. ET, pushing through barricades, officers in riot gear and other security measures put in place in anticipation of the protest.

A woman was shot inside the Capitol and rushed to the hospital, police said. The unidentified woman died later in the evening, sources tell ABC News.

It's unclear what led to the shooting or if law enforcement was involved. Images showed officers with weapons drawn.

As of 6:15 p.m., the Capitol was still occupied, but officials say the are working to clear it.

After repeated calls from leaders on both sides of the aisle to call off his supporters, the president released a video message on Twitter at 4:17 p.m., telling his supporters to go home. In the same video, he continued to push baseless, false claims about the election.

"I know you're in pain, I know you're hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us," he said, repeating a false claim in the 1-minute pre-recorded video. "But you have to go home now."

Twitter labeled the video with a warning, "This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence."

The tweet came just as Trump's successor, Vice President Joe Biden, held a news conference to address the situation. He called on Trump to tell his supporters to stop.

"This is not dissent, it's disorder. It's chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now. I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.

The entire D.C. National Guard has been activated to help, and several other law enforcement groups, including the Federal Protective Service, Secret Service, Virginia National Guard, and Arlington, Virginia, Police Department, are responding to assist the U.S. Capitol Police.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said around 3:40 p.m., the National Guard was on its way. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requested the National Guard's help to secure the Capitol, according to a source.

The clashes began as Trump and his allies held a rally earlier in the day pushing the Senate to not certify the election for President-elect Joe Biden. Once inside the Capitol, protesters moved freely and shouted chants while waving "Trump 2020" flags.

"Due to the violent behavior towards the police officers there and their intent on gaining access to the Capitol, a riot was declared," D.C. Metro Police Chief Robert Conte told reporters at a news conference.

According to reports, at least one protester was in the dais of the Senate chamber and some were going door to door demanding, "Where the f--- are they?" They were also banging on the doors, according to reports.

One of the protesters was photographed carrying a congressional lectern.

Around 4:15 p.m., the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Capitol Police were investigating a suspicious item close to the Republican National Committee headquarters building on First Street. Around 5:52 p.m. the FBI said in a statement that "two suspected explosive devices were rendered safe by the FBI and our law enforcement partners. The investigation is ongoing."

Later in the evening, law enforcement fired tear gas to try and disperse the supporters

As the Trump supporters stormed the building, law enforcement officers inside instructed elected officials, staff and journalists to shelter in place. In a bulletin sent to Capitol staff later in the afternoon, Capitol Police ordered people to lock their doors, remain quiet and silence their electronics.

"If you are in a public space, find a place to hide or seek cover," the bulletin read.

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., tweeted, "Police have asked us to get gas masks out as there has been tear gas used in the rotunda." U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore, tweeted that the Electoral College ballots were rescued from the floor.

"If our capable floor staff hadn’t grabbed them, they would have been burned by the mob," he tweeted.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin told reporters that the Senate intends to finish certifying the election tonight.

Manchin told reporters he believes that they will be able to continue debate in the Capitol building. He said that being in the secure holding room with other Senators had a "way of bringing us together."

"We're going to finish tonight," Manchin said. "These thugs are not running us off."

House Speaker Pelosi sent a letter to members that they would proceed with their agenda once the Capitol was cleared.

"Members and staff should remain on the Capitol complex until they are notified by the United States Capitol Police," she wrote. "I look forward to seeing you later this evening, during this time of great sadness."

Around 3:20 p.m., the Senate chamber was reportedly secured and officers were in the process of pushing protesters down from the second and third floor of the rotunda, according to police.

During the rally earlier in the day, Trump said he would not concede and called on the supporters to march up to the Capitol. He promised the crowd he would be with him, but did not follow-up his promise and went back to the White House.

"We will not let them silence your voices. We're not going to let it happen," Trump said to a cheering crowd.

As the breaching started, Trump tweeted that Vice President Mike Pence "didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution," and "USA demands the truth!"

Trump tweeted at 2:39 p.m., "Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!"

At 3:13 p.m., he tweeted, "I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!"

At 3:35 p.m., Pence, who was escorted out of the building, also pleaded on Twitter for the Trump supporters to stop.
"The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building," he tweeted.

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney told reporters who were with him in a secure position, "This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection." Romney had been accosted by a Trump supporter at an airport Tuesday.

U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a joint statement around 3:50 p.m. and called on Trump "to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately.”

Former members of Trump's inner circle also condemned the president for not doing enough to stop his supporters. Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney tweeted that the president's tweets were not enough.

"He can stop this now and needs to do exactly that. Tell these folks to go home," he tweeted.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a citywide curfew that began at 6 p.m. and ending Thursday at 6 a.m.
"During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District," the mayor's office said.

During a news conference later in the afternoon, Bowser called the protests "shameful, unpatriotic" and "unlawful."

"The Metropolitan Police Department has been deployed to assist the United States Capitol police in restoring order to the Capitol. And our chief of police will lead the command to clear the Capitol building and establish a perimeter around the Capitol," she said.

Gov. Northam also declared a curfew in Alexandria and Arlington that began at 6 p.m.

— ABC News

More than 500 vaccine doses were left out to spoil on purpose by a hospital employeeAn employee at a Wisconsin hospital ...
12/31/2020

More than 500 vaccine doses were left out to spoil on purpose by a hospital employee

An employee at a Wisconsin hospital intentionally removed more than 500 doses of coronavirus vaccine from refrigeration last week, rendering them useless, the hospital system said Wednesday night.

The employee’s motive is unclear.

The hospital, the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wis., notified the local police department, which is investigating the incident, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Food and Drug Administration, the police said.

The person responsible, whom it did not name, is no longer an employee, the hospital system said in its statement. It was not clear whether any charges had been brought. The police department said it could not comment further on an active investigation.

“We are more than disappointed that this individual’s actions will result in a delay of more than 500 people receiving their vaccine,” the hospital system, Aurora Health Care, said.

Aurora said it learned of the incident earlier this week and was originally led to believe that the spoilage was accidental. But on Wednesday, it said, the employee acknowledged intentionally removing the vials of vaccine from refrigeration.

The spoiled doses were of the Moderna vaccine, which can be stored safely at normal freezer temperatures. The other vaccine authorized for use in the United States so far, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, must be kept much colder in special ultracold freezers.

Wisconsin experienced a devastating surge of coronavirus cases in the fall, and at times was the hardest-hit state in the nation relative to its population. Transmission has since slowed a bit, but the state is still reporting about 39 new cases a day for every 100,000 people. At least 5,195 Wisconsin residents have died.

As of Tuesday, the state had received 156,875 doses of vaccines and had administered 47,157 doses, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

—— The New York Times

Los Angeles County -- the biggest county in the US -- is now under a stay-at-home orderAll public and private gatherings...
11/30/2020

Los Angeles County -- the biggest county in the US -- is now under a stay-at-home order

All public and private gatherings with anyone outside a single household are now banned in Los Angeles County, as most of the country grapples with an unprecedented surge of Covid-19.

The ban will last three weeks, starting Monday and ending December 20.

All 10 million residents are asked to stay home as much as possible and wear face masks when outside -- even when exercising at the beach and parks, said the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which issued the order last week.

All playgrounds and cardrooms will be closed, but beaches, trails and parks will remain open to groups who live in the same household.

The order also reduces the maximum occupancy for essential businesses to 35%, and for non-essential businesses, personal care services, and libraries to 20%.

Businesses operating outdoors, including fitness centers, zoos, botanical gardens and batting cages, are reduced to a maximum of 50% capacity.

The order exempts outdoor church services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights, the county said.

The directive comes in addition to a controversial new ban on outdoor dining in Los Angeles County and a statewide curfew prohibiting nonessential activity outside the home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the vast majority of residents.

But the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said it will not enforce the new stay-at-home order, instead relying on voluntary compliance.

"Since the first Stay at Home Order was issued in March of this year, we have focused on education and voluntary compliance, with enforcement measures being an extreme last resort," the sheriff's department said in a statement to CNN.

"We trust in the community and rely on people to assess risk and take precautions as appropriate."

Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the US, recently reported a record number of new Covid-19 infections and the most deaths in months.

The county reported 395,843 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 7,639 deaths as of Sunday. The county's 7-day average of test positivity rate is 6.9%.

— CNN

Trump says for first time he'll leave office if Electoral College votes for BidenWashington — President Donald Trump sai...
11/28/2020

Trump says for first time he'll leave office if Electoral College votes for Biden

Washington — President Donald Trump said for the first time Thursday he will leave office if the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden but made clear he's not prepared to concede.

"Certainly I will, and you know that," Trump said when asked by a reporter about leaving the White House if Biden is declared the winner on December 14. "I will and, you know that."

"It's going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud," Trump said without evidence.
"As to whether or not we can get this apparatus moving quickly -- because time isn't on our side, everything else is on our side, facts are on our side, this was a massive fraud."

The President falsely added that if Biden is declared the winner, the Electoral College, "made a mistake, cause this election was a fraud." Pressed on his comments, Trump snapped at the reporter. "Don't talk to me that way. I'm the President of the United States. Don't ever talk to the president that way," he said.

Thursday was the first time Trump has taken questions from reporters since the election.

Since CNN and other outlets projected Biden as the winner earlier this month, Trump has refused to accept the results, instead pushing baseless conspiracies that his second term is being stolen and launching a legal effort to overturn results.

This includes falsely claiming during an election night address that he had already won reelection, that he had already won states that were actually still up in the air at the time and that his opponents were perpetuating a fraud.

In response, Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement earlier this month, "the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House."

To this point, the Trump campaign's lawsuits have been repeatedly dismissed or dropped, and earlier this week, the General Services Administration informed Biden that the Trump administration is ready to begin the formal transition process.

The GSA letter marked the first step the administration has taken to acknowledge Trump's defeat. The President, however, tweeted moments after the letter was reported: "Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!"

He echoed that message throughout his rambling news conference Thursday following a Thanksgiving teleconference call with military members -- an event US Presidents traditionally use to boost morale of service members stationed abroad during the holidays and remind the country of their service.

— CNN

Pence’s chief of staff and two other aides test positive for the virus.�At least three top advisers to Vice President Mi...
10/25/2020

Pence’s chief of staff and two other aides test positive for the virus.�

At least three top advisers to Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last few days, people briefed on the matter said, raising fresh questions about the safety protocols at the White House, where masks are not routinely worn.

Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for Mr. Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force, said that the vice president’s chief of staff, Marc Short, had tested positive. A person briefed on the diagnosis said it was received on Saturday.

“Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence both tested negative for Covid-19 today, and remain in good health,” Mr. O’Malley said. “While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the vice president will maintain his schedule in accordance with the C.D.C. guidelines for essential personnel.”

The statement did not come from the White House medical unit, but instead from a press aide. Two people briefed on the matter said that the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, had sought to keep news of the outbreak from becoming public.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Meadows did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

A Trump adviser briefed on the outbreak, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said that Pence adviser Marty Obst also tested positive earlier this week. Mr. Obst’s positive test was first reported by Bloomberg News.

Another person briefed on the developments, who also was not allowed to speak publicly, said that at least one additional Pence staff member had tested positive. Mr. O’Malley did not immediately respond to a question about others who have tested positive.
Mr. Pence’s decision to continue campaigning, despite his proximity to his chief of staff, is certain to raise fresh questions about how seriously the White House is taking the risks to its staff members and to the public as the pandemic has killed nearly 225,000 people in the United States.

Mr. Trump, the first lady and several aides and advisers tested positive for the virus roughly three weeks ago. Mr. Trump spent three nights at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and he was treated with an experimental antibody cocktail as well as the powerful steroid dexamethasone.

The administration decided not to trace the contacts of guests and staff members at the Rose Garden celebration on Sept. 26 for the Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, which also included a reception inside the White House. That event was linked to an outbreak that grew to more than 20 cases, as evidence mounted that the administration had done little to prevent or contain the virus’s spread.

Mr. Trump, at rallies over the past two days, has insisted the country is “rounding the turn” on the virus, even though the single-day record for new cases was shattered on Friday.

— Maggie Haberman, The New York Times

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