New York: United States Slamming President Donald Trump for inciting violence at the US Capitol, his predecessor Barack Obama has said it is a moment of "great dishonour and shame" for the United States.
The statement of the former popular president came hours after thousands of pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday stormed the US Capitol, interrupting a joint session of Congress where lawmakers were set to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win.
"History will rightly remember today's violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonour and shame for our nation. But we'd be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise," Obama said in a lengthy statement.
For two months now, a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth -- that this was not a particularly close election and that President-elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, he said.
"Their fantasy narrative has spiralled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we're seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo," Obama said.
In the November 3 presidential election, Biden, a Democrat won 306 Electoral College votes while Trump, a Republican, mustered only 232 votes.
Obama said, "Right now, Republican leaders have a choice made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy. They can continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires. Or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America."
The former president said he was heartened to see many members of Trump'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 honourably. 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. It's up to all of us as Americans, regardless of party, to support him in that goal," he said.