Former Republican president George W Bush has condemned the actions of Donald Trump and his supporters, branding the unrest at the US Capitol “mayhem” and the acts of a “banana republic”.
It comes as members of the current president’s own party called on the White House to remove Donald Trump from power, with either impeachment or the 25th amendment of the US Constitution.
President Bush, who led the US from 2001 to 2009, did not mention the current commander-in-chief by name in his statement.
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But his strong words – echoed by many others across political divides and around the world – are part of a growing condemnation of President Trump’s final days in power.
Mr Bush said: “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic.
“I am appalled by the reckless behaviour of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement.
Former Pres. Bush: “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic … I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement.” pic.twitter.com/73aRfW7hmW
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 6, 2021
“The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.
“Insurrection could do grave damage to our nation and reputation.”
People who have worked inside the Trump administration were also excoriating of the man currently trying to cling on to power.
Former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said that the president’s messages on Twitter were insufficient.
He said: “The President’s tweet is not enough. He can stop this now and needs to do exactly that. Tell these folks to go home.”
Elsewhere, there were calls for the 25th amendment of the US Constitution to be invoked to remove Donald Trump from power as soon as possible.
The Republican governor of Vermont, Phil Scott, said: “The fabric of our democracy and the principles of our republic are under attack by the President.
“Enough is enough.
“President Trump should resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet, or by the Congress.”
The fourth article of the 25th amendment allows the vice president and the US cabinet to vote on the removal of the president.
President Trump could dispute the action, but the issue could still be forced through should other members of the executive again vote to remove him.
There would then need to be votes in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, with the order to remove requiring a two-thirds majority.
Other people have called for an impeachment, like what the president faced a year ago.
Democratic House member Ilhan Omar said: “I am drawing up Articles of Impeachment.
“Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate.
“We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfil our oath.”
There was further condemnation from around the world from the likes of Boris Johnson, president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 6, 2021
The scenes from the Capitol are utterly horrifying. Solidarity with those in on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Shame on those who have incited this attack on democracy.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) January 6, 2021
Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour. Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld – and it will be.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 6, 2021
Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence said he did not have the constitutional power to overrule the electoral college, drawing the ire of his superior in the Oval Office.
And Senate leader Mitch McConnell – another member of the Republican Party turning their back on President Trump – told his colleagues that the election was over and “was not even particularly close”.