Former US President Barack Obama has blamed the storming of the US Capitol which led to four dying on Donald Trump’s lies.
He said the violence was incited by the current president as a result of his constant stream of lies about the election.
Obama’s statement follows chaotic scenes in America as pro-Trump thugs broke through police lines and entered the US Congress in Washington DC.
The rioters were pictured in the Senate Chamber and even sitting with their feet up in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
Obama described the episode, which resulted in four deaths, as “a moment of great dishonour and shame for our nation”, although he added that it was not a total surprise.
The Democrat claimed Trump’s election fraud “fantasy narrative” had spiralled out of control and led to a “violent crescendo”.
He called on Republican leaders to choose between “stoking the raging fires” or “extinguishing the flames”.
In a statement released after the violence, the former President said: “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. 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.
“Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo.”
Obama added that Republican leaders now had a choice ‘made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy’.
He said they could ‘continue down this road’ of supporting Trump’s false election fraud claims or ‘choose reality’.
“They can choose America,” the former President wrote.
The Democrat expressed his support for Republicans who had spoken out about yesterday’s violence.
He praised local election officials who had carried out their duties honourably in places like Georgia despite intimidation.
Obama added: “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.”
This morning Trump promised an ‘orderly transition’ after Joe Biden ’s election victory was confirmed.
The outgoing president said in a statement: “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted.
“While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”