JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Republican and Democratic Missouri leaders spoke out against demonstrators who on Wednesday stormed the U.S. Capitol in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power.
Supporters of President Trump, angered by his election loss, occupied the Capitol and halted a joint session of Congress where lawmakers were beginning to count electoral votes.
GOP Gov. Mike Parson, who said he's a “law-and-order guy,” decried demonstrators for breaking the law. U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, called for an end to the violence and said lawbreakers must be held accountable.
State lawmakers similarly spoke out against the occupation.
The Missouri state House held a moment of silence, and Republican House leaders described the violence as unacceptable.
Kansas City Sen. John Rizzo, the top Missouri Senate Democrat, canceled a press conference and called the occupation “an act of modern treason.” House Democratic Minority Leader Crystal Quade said it's “an affront to democracy and everything America represents.”
Both Quade and Rizzo had called on Missouri Republican leaders to condemn the violence.
Trump supporters, some openly carrying guns, also rallied outside the Missouri Capitol on Wednesday, during the first day of the state’s legislative session. Capitol Police Chief Zim Schwartze said they were “calm and peaceful” and “followed the rules.”