World Leaders Condemn 'Disgraceful, Distressing' Violence at U.S. Capitol

Leaders and officials across the globe have reacted to the scenes of rioting in Washington, D.C. as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building in protest of the certification of the 2020 presidential election on Wednesday.

Condemning the "acts of violence," the leaders showed their solidarity with the American people and called for the "peaceful transfer of power" in several posts across social media.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday: "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," in a post on Twitter.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison echoed Johnson's sentiment, tweeting: "Very distressing scenes at the US Congress. We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of Government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "Like so many others, I've been watching what's happening in the United States. I share the sentiment of friends in the US - what is happening is wrong," in a thread on Twitter.

"Democracy - the right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully should never be undone by a mob. Our thoughts are with everyone who is as devastated as we are by the events of today. I have no doubt democracy will prevail," Ardern added.

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

In the tweet sharing a video message, French President Macron noted: "What happened today in Washington, D.C. is not America.

"A few violent individuals forced their way into the secular temple of American democracy: the Capitol. A woman was killed.

"When, in one of the world's oldest democracies, supporters of an outgoing president take up arms to challenge the legitimate results of an election, a universal idea—that 'one person, one vote'—is undermined."

"Today France stands strongly, fervently and resolutely with the American people and with all people who want to choose their leaders," Macron added.

High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell, concurred with Macron's words.

Borrell tweeted: "This is not America. The election results of 3 November must be fully respected," describing the incident as "an unseen assault on US democracy, its institutions and the rule of law."

We believe in democracy.#WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/dj3hs66KKn

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) January 7, 2021

Simon Coveney, Irish minister for foreign affairs and minister for defense, tweeted: "Shocking & deeply sad scenes in Washington DC - we must call this out for what it is: a deliberate assault on Democracy by a sitting President & his supporters, attempting to overturn a free & fair election! The world is watching! We hope for restoration of calm."

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said: "The US Congress is a temple of democracy. To witness tonight's scenes in #WashingtonDC is a shock. We trust the US to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to @JoeBiden."

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, tweeted: "I believe in the strength of US institutions and democracy. Peaceful transition of power is at the core. @JoeBiden won the election. I look forward to working with him as the next President of the USA."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the "orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests," in a post on Twitter.

Colombian President Iván Duque also showed support for the U.S. in a tweet noting: "Colombia has full confidence in the stability of the institutions of the United States of America, as well as its respect for democracy and the rule of law, values shared by our countries since the beginning of our republic."

U.S. Capitol protest Trump supporters January 2020
Crowds outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6. Several world leaders have reacted to the "shocking" scenes of rioting as supporters of President Donald Trump raided the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The graphic below, produced by Statista, shows the percentage of adult Americans who feel violence to advance political goals is justified.

U.S. feelings on political violence
STATISTA