James S. Brady Press Briefing Room Washington D.C. January 7, 2021 5:18 P.M. EST
I am here to deliver this message on behalf of the entire White House. Let me be clear: The violence we saw yesterday at our nation's Capitol was appalling, reprehensible, and antithetical to the American way. We condemn it - the President and this administration - in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable, and those that broke the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
I stood here at this podium the day after a historic church burned amid violent riots, and I said this: "The First Amendment guarantees the right of the people to peaceably assemble. What we saw last night in Washington and across the country was not that." End quote. Make no mistake: What we saw yesterday afternoon in the halls of our Capitol, likewise, was not that.
We grieve for the loss of life and those injured, and we hold them in our prayers and close to our hearts at this time. We thank our valiant law enforcement officers who are true American heroes.
What we saw yesterday was a group of violent rioters undermining the legitimate First Amendment rights of the many thousands who came to peacefully have their voices heard in our nation's capital. Those who violently besieged our Capitol are the opposite of everything this administration stands for. The core value of our administration is the idea that all citizens have the right to live in safety, peace, and freedom.
Those who are working in this building are working to ensure an orderly transition of power. Now it is time for America to unite, to come together to reject the violence that we have seen. We are one American people under God.
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