Donald Trump Capitol siege
President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama prior to Obama's departure during the 2017 presidential inauguration at the US Capitol January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.
  • Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday said that President Donald Trump's relentless lies on the 2020 election incited violent, disturbing events at the US Capitol. 
  • "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 dishonor and shame for our nation," Obama said. 
  • The former president called on Republicans to cease their support for Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election result and "choose America."
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Former President Barack Obama explicitly blamed President Donald Trump for the violent scenes at the US Capitol on Wednesday, while urging Republicans to step up and take a stand against the sitting president's attacks on democracy. 

"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 dishonor and shame for our nation," Obama said in a statement. "But we'd be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise."

The former president said that the GOP 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 went on to say that Republicans have been pushing a "fantasy narrative" on the election that has spiraled further and further from reality.  

Obama said that Republican leaders now face 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. 

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