WILMINGTON, Del. - US President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday that President Donald Trump fomented Wednesday's violence at the US Capitol, calling it one of the darkest days in the history of the country and an assault on democracy.
Biden, speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was introducing nominees for his Justice Department, called the Trump supporters who forced their way into the Capitol building "domestic terrorists".
"Don't dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It's that basic," Democrat Biden said.
"The past four years we have had a president who's made his contempt for our democracy, the Constitution, the rule of law, clear in everything he has done," Biden said of Republican Trump.
The chaos in the US Capitol when a pro-Trump mob stormed the building that houses the Senate and House of Representatives unfolded after Trump spent weeks whipping up his supporters with false claims that the Nov. 3 election was stolen from him. At a rally in front of the White House on Wednesday Trump called on supporters to march to the building.
"He unleashed an all-out assault on the institutions of our democracy from the outset, and yesterday was but the culmination of that unrelenting attack," Biden said.
The House and Senate were scheduled to certify the results of the Electoral College, over the objections of some Republican lawmakers, when the Capitol was forced into lockdown by crowds swarming into the building.
Congress reconvened hours later and early on Thursday confirmed Biden's presidential election victory. He will be sworn into office on Jan. 20.