“At this hour, our Democracy is under an unprecedented assault unlike anything we have seen in modern times,” said President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday, summing up the ongoing mayhem at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. “The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are. What we’re seeing are small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now.”

Biden continued, “I’m genuinely shocked and sad that our nation has come to such a dark moment. America is so much better than what we’ve seen today.”

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris echoed Biden. “I join President-elect @JoeBiden in calling for the assault on the Capitol and our nation’s public servants to end, and as he said, ‘allow the work of democracy to go forward,’” she tweeted.

Barack Obama posted a lengthy statement to Twitter in which he said that history will remember today’s violence as “a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation.” But he also gave a message of hope, writing, “I’ve been heartened to see many members of the President’s party speak up forcefully today. Their voices add to the examples of Republican state and local election officials in states like Georgia who’ve refused to be intimidated and have discharged their duties honorably. We need more leaders like these — right now and in the days, weeks and months ahead as President-elect Biden works to restore a common purpose to our politics.”

Former President George W. Bush published a statement in which he expressed his “disbelief and dismay.” “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions and law enforcement.” He also added that “insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation.”

Wednesday was meant to mark a day of a peaceful transfer of power. Instead, the process of Congress certifying Biden as the next president of the United States was disrupted by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, who stormed the Capitol in a riotous, and at times violent and illegal, display.

Pro-Trump supporters breached the building and stormed the U.S. Senate floor as Senators were told to shelter in place; some rummaged through offices of the likes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the lawmakers had been evacuated. Much of the chaos was shared to social media and broadcast live across the news networks, with anchors from CNN and MSNBC to Fox News reacting in shock and disbelief in real time, quickly clarifying the protestors as “domestic terrorists” on air.

CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta called out Trump for being a “television viewer in chief” and failing to condemn his supporters and put an end to the hours of chaos. Trump, who earlier had encouraged his supporters to make their voices heard amid the congressional proceedings, initially took to Twitter to ask the crowd to “remain peaceful” and “respect the law” — a muted response that was swiftly criticized by politicians, members of the media and Hollywood figures alike.

Many in Hollywood condemned the lack of a militarized response, especially in comparison to the federal response to the Black Lives Matter protests earlier in 2020.

Not until after 4 p.m. Eastern Time did Trump tell the rioters to “go home” in a video message, shortly after it was announced by his staff that the National Guard had been called in. The video was flagged by Twitter, due to Trump including false claims of election fraud in the message.

Facebook and YouTube later removed the video from their platforms amid outcry over Trump’s false claims.

At that time, the chaos had yet to abate. The crowd began to thin about an hour later as it began to get dark. A 6 p.m. local time curfew had been called earlier in the day by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Meanwhile, shortly after Trump’s address, Georgia was declared to have officially turned blue, with both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff winning their respective, highly anticipated Senate runoff races and giving Democrats the majority.

Around 5:30 p.m., CNN reported that “some tear gas” had been deployed as riot police could be seen  arriving to disperse the remaining mob.

Read the posts as the day devolved below. (This story will continue to be updated.)

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