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Former Defense Secretary James Mattis rebuked President Trump on Wednesday, accusing him of fomenting violence at the U.S. Capitol and poisoning Americans' respect for fellow citizens.
"Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump," read a statement by Mattis obtained by Fox News.
"His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice," Mattis said. "Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country."
Mattis' blistering remarks piled onto an already growing list of criticisms leveled at Trump and elected Republicans on Wednesday.
"We gather today due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning," said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, in a press release.
"What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States," Romney continued. "Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy."
Meanwhile, Democrats have called for Trump's removal from office.
Some targeted criticism at Sens. Ted Cruz, D-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who announced they would object to the 2020 electoral college results.
Both Trump and other GOP leaders called for an end to the violence — although many have criticized Republicans like Trump for provoking the type of clash that occurred Wednesday.
Harrowing scenes showed shattered windows and people clashing with police officers. One woman has also died after being shot on Capitol grounds.
One of Mattis' successors, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, called the riots "un-American."
"This afternoon’s assault on the US Capitol was appalling and un-American," he said in a statement obtained by Fox News.
"This is not how citizens of the world’s greatest and oldest democracy behave. The perpetrators who committed this illegal act were inspired by partisan misinformation and patently false claims about the election. This must end now for the good of the republic," Esper said.
"I commend Congressional leaders for meeting tonight to complete their Constitutional task of counting the electoral college votes that will affirm Joe Biden as the next president of the United States," Esper continued. "As this transition plays out over the next two weeks, I am confident the U.S. military will stay out of politics, and remain true to its sworn oath to support and defend the Constitution, and the American people, as the most trusted and respected institution in the country."
Fox News' Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.
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