Pence speaks to Congress after mob stormed Capitol: “Today was a dark day”

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the reconvened Senate Wednesday evening after hours of pro-Trump protests at the U.S. Capitol building

Pence speaks to Congress after mob stormed Capitol: “Today was a dark day”

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the reconvened Senate Wednesday evening after hours of pro-Trump protests at the U.S. Capitol building — prompting evacuations and halting the congressional count of Electoral College votes.

What he's saying: "Today was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol ... We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms ... To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins and this is still the people's house," Pence said.

  • "As we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy. For even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this Capitol, the elected representatives of the people of the United States have assembled again on the very same day to support and defend the constitution of the United States."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said on the floor: "We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation."

Why it matters: Pence broke rank with President Trump on Wednesday by stating that he does not have unilateral authority to reject Electoral College votes that are certified by Congress.

  • Trump wrote in what appears to be a since-deleted tweet: "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify."

Trump, who baselessly claims the election was rigged against him, has defended the rioters. He did encourage demonstrators to retreat from the Capitol and "go home."

  • In another apparently deleted tweet, Trump wrote, "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long."