Biden Says He's Not Concerned About Inauguration Safety Amid Capitol Riots

Joe Biden is scheduled to be sworn in as the 46th president two weeks after thousands of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol to disrupt the certification of the presidential election, but the president-elect said he's not worried.

"I am not concerned about my safety, security or the inauguration," he told reporters Wednesday, just hours after an armed siege at the Capitol forced Vice President Mike Pence and other top leaders to be whisked away to safety. "I'm not concerned. The American people are going to stand up, stand up now. Enough is enough is enough."

Biden condemned the riots that took over the U.S. Capitol as an assault on democracy "unlike anything we've seen in modern times."

"The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not represent who we are," Biden said during a public address. "What we're seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness."

He added that the situation unfolding at the Capitol "borders on sedition."

Biden, whose inauguration will take place on the U.S. Capitol steps on January 20, had been scheduled to address economic policy from his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. He changed his speech as scenes on television and social media showed an armed standoff, multiple injuries and Trump flag-carrying demonstrators storming lawmakers' offices.

Most of the rioters had previously attended a rally that President Donald Trump addressed, where Trump told them the election had been stolen. Trump urged them to go to the Capitol and said he would "be with" them, though he didn't attend in person.

Trump, watching the Capitol riots unfold on television from the Oval Office, sent two tweets urging people to "remain peaceful" even as his supporters busted windows and prompted armed standoffs with Capitol police. He also sent a tweet attacking Pence, who was serving a ceremonial role to certify the election but Trump tried to presser to override the certified results. Trump declared, "USA demands the truth!"

Pence had earlier acknowledged that he had no constitutional authority to overturn the election.

Biden, in his speech, called on Trump to go on national television to address his followers.

"The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is at their best," Biden told reporters in Delaware as Trump supporters continued their siege on the Capitol.

Instead, the president released a video from his Twitter account after Biden's address.

"You have to go home now. We have to have peace," Trump said in the address to his supporters, adding "We love you. You are very special."

US Capitol
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. Samuel Corum/Getty