US Capitol protests: Vice President Mike Pence makes defiant speech while reopening Senate | Ralph Lauren

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US Vice President Mike Pence has made an impassioned speech, declaring violent protesters who stormed the Capitol “did not win”, while reopening the Senate.

Pence, who is chairing a special Congressional session to certify the electoral college vote, condemned those who rioted at Capitol Hill and acknowledged security staff, police and the death of a pro-Trump protester, who was shot during the ugly scenes.

HEAR HIS SPEECH IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE

“We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms,” he said.

“We grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today. And we will always be grateful to the men and women who stayed at their posts to defend this historic place.”

But he stopped short of laying blame on President Donald Trump for the unexpected violence, declining to mention him at all in his address, instead insisting that the session to certify US President-elect Joe Biden must go ahead.

“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins, freedom wins and this is still the people’s house.

“And as we reconvene in this chamber, the would will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy.

“Because even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this Capitol the elected representatives of the people of the United States have assembled again on the very same day to support and defend the constitution of the United States.”

As the violence unfolded, the Vice President called for the protests to end and for those involved to be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law”.

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“The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building,” he wrote on Twitter.



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