Behind the viral picture of Rep. Andy Kim cleansing up at midnight after riots

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Claire Wang

6h ago / 9:55 PM UTC

Unlike many of his congressional colleagues, Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., was in his office in a separate federal building when President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. So he didn’t actually see the damage live until nearly midnight, after the House had voted down the last challenge to the presidential election result.

When he finally did walk around the rotunda — his favorite and arguably the most storied room of the building — the disarray left him speechless. Water bottles, broken furniture, tattered Trump flags and pieces of body armor and clothing were strewn on the marble floor as if it were an abandoned parking lot.

“I was just overwhelmed with emotion,” Kim, 38, told NBC Asian America. “It’s a room that I love so much — it’s the heart of the Capitol, literally the heart of this country. It pained me so much to see it in this kind of condition.”

So for the next hour and a half, he crouched down and filled a half dozen trash bags with debris. When he finished cleaning up the rotunda, he began working on the adjacent rooms, including the National Statuary Hall and the Capitol crypt downstairs.

Read the whole story here. 

Pete Williams

7h ago / 9:46 PM UTC

Can Trump be tried in the Senate on impeachment charges even after he leaves office? Some experts say yes.

Donald Trump talks to the media outside the White House on Oct. 11, 2019.Mark Peterson / Redux

Some legal experts on the congressional power of impeachment believe President Donald Trump could be impeached and tried in the Senate even after he leaves office at noon on Jan. 20.

As House Democratic leaders consider a vote on articles of impeachment as early as the middle of next week, here’s a look at how the procedure would work.

The House can bring an impeachment resolution to the floor for an immediate vote, bypassing the process of committee hearings, which were held when Trump was impeached in 2019 and acquitted in by the GOP-controlled Senate. In the normal course, skipping hearings would deprive impeachment proponents of the opportunity to build credibility and support by calling witnesses.

But in the current circumstances, supporters may consider that unnecessary.

Read the story.

Daniel Arkin

7h ago / 9:46 PM UTC

GOP Sen. Murkowski calls on Trump to resign

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who is widely seen as one of the most moderate Republicans in the Senate, said in an interview Friday that President Donald Trump should resign immediately after the riots at the Capitol.

“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski said in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News.

“He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing,” the lawmaker said, adding that she believed the president was responsible for the deadly riots in the nation’s capital.

Murkowski, asked whether she intended to remain a Republican, said her party registration depends on the trajectory of the GOP.

“I will tell you, if the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” Murkowski told the newspaper.

Dareh Gregorian

6h ago / 10:12 PM UTC

‘Traitor!’: Trump supporters harangue Sen. Lindsey Graham at airport

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of President Donald Trump’s top Republican allies during his four years in office, was swarmed by Trump supporters blasting him as a “traitor” at a Washington, D.C., airport on Friday. 

“Lindsey Graham, you are a traitor to the country! You know it was rigged!” one of the Trump supporters screamed as Graham, who was flanked by police officers, briskly walked through the airport. “You garbage human being! It’s going to be like this forever, wherever you go!” the woman yelled as other supporters recorded the encounter on their phones and laughed.

Video of the encounter — which went viral on social media — showed at least six Trump supporters circling around the South Carolina senator. 

During the electoral vote count that was delayed because of the Capitol riot on Wednesday, Graham pushed back at allegations that Democrats had “rigged” the presidential election and that the results should be overturned.

“All I can say Is count me out, enough is enough,” Graham said. “I cannot convince people, certain groups, by my words, but I will tell you by my actions, that maybe I — among, above all others in this body — need to say this: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and the vice president of the United States on January the 20th.”

Adam Edelman

7h ago / 9:07 PM UTC

ADL calls for Trump’s removal from office

The Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that combats bigotry and tracks extremist groups, called on Friday for the removal of President Donald Trump from office.

“In our over 100 years of history, ADL has never called for the President of the United States to be removed from office, but what occurred on Wednesday was inexcusable,” the group’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement. “It will forever be remembered as one of the darkest days of American democracy and it makes unambiguously clear: President Trump is unfit for office and needs to be removed.” 

Greenblatt said Trump should be removed “either by the means afforded by the U.S. Constitution or through his own resignation.”

“Violence and sedition. Confederate flags being proudly displayed by rioters in the United States Capitol. White supremacists and far-right extremists marauding through the hallowed halls of one our nation’s most sacred institutions. This was incited by President Trump and organized on social media for all the world to see,” Greenblatt said. “The horrific events of this week are a culmination of years spent denigrating our democratic institutions, months of delegitimizing the electoral process, and innumerable tweets demonizing his perceived enemies, with zero regard for the consequences of his actions.”

Dan De Luce and Abigail Williams

7h ago / 9:06 PM UTC

U.S. diplomats ask State Dept. to denounce Trump’s incitement of Capitol riot

Dozens of U.S. diplomats have signed on to a dissent cable asking for the State Department to publicly denounce President Donald Trump’s incitement of a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, several State Department officials tell NBC News. Foreign Policy Magazine first reported on the cable.

“The Department of State should explicitly denounce President Trump’s role in this violent attack on the U.S. government. Just as we routinely denounce foreign leaders who use violence and intimidation to interfere in peaceful democratic processes and override the will of their voters, the Department’s public statements about this episode should also mention President Trump by name,” a draft of the cable obtained by NBC News reads. “It is critical that we communicate to the world that in our system, no one — not even the President — is above the law or immune from public criticism.”

The language of the dissent cable may change before being formally submitted to State Department leadership, according to the officials. A draft of the cable was first shared by the Washington Post.

Pete Williams

6h ago / 10:54 PM UTC

Adam Edelman

8h ago / 8:26 PM UTC

Biden says Pence is ‘welcome’ at his inauguration

President-elect Joe Biden said Friday that Vice President Mike Pence was “welcome” at his inauguration, while also saying he agreed with President Donald Trump’s decision to not come.

“The vice president is welcome to come. We’d be honored to have him there,” Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware.

NBC News reported Thursday night that Pence would likely attend the inauguration if invited, although a spokesman for Pence said Friday that Pence and second lady Karen Pence had not yet made a decision.

Trump, meanwhile, tweeted Friday that he would not attend Biden’s inauguration, adding his name to a very short list of outgoing presidents who did not attend the inauguration of their successors.

Biden said at his news conference that he was told about Trump’s decision and quipped it was “one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on.”

Brandy Zadrozny

8h ago / 7:59 PM UTC

No evidence of antifa involvement in Capitol mob, FBI says

Despite suggestions from conservative pundits and some Republican members of Congress, there is no evidence that anti-fascist activists were involved in the pro-Trump Capitol riots, FBI Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono said on a call with reporters Friday. 

“We have no indication of that, at this time,” D’Antuono said when asked whether antifa activists had disguised themselves as Trump supporters in an effort to frame them for the violent riots in which five people died, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.

Immediately following the violence on Wednesday, conspiracy theorists, radical conservative activists and Trump allies took to social media and conservative news networks to make the evidence-free claim that antifa was behind the riots, reviving old rumors about anti-fascist activists long used in Trump campaign fundraising advertisements.

The false claims of antifa involvement in Wednesday’s melee spread early on social media from longtime Trump supporters, including televangelist Mark Burns and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. By evening, the rumors were being floated on Fox News and Fox Business Network by Sarah Palin and Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. 

Late Wednesday evening, during the continuation of the certification, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., also used his time to promote a poorly sourced and later-retracted report to claim antifa was “masquerading as Trump supporters.”

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