World Leaders React to the Breaching of the Capitol


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World Leaders React to the Breaching of the Capitol

Kevin Bongiorno, Staff Writer

In the aftermath of the siege of the United States Capitol Building, leaders around the world were quick to release statements regarding the shocking event. Unlike the abundantly clear divisions on display in Congress on Wednesday, many top leaders from around the world were united in their messages to the US. 

Our northern neighbors wasted no time commenting on the history that was unfolding in Washington, DC. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted at 6:17pm, just minutes after the Capitol was secured from protesters, saying, “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.”

About two hours after Trudeau’s tweet, French President Emmanuel Macron posted a two minute and fifty-seven second video with the caption, “We believe in Democracy.” In the video, President Macron spoke about the long history France has with the United States and said they stand with our country and our shared ideals of freedom and independence. He also spoke of the need to accept the results of a free and fair election – specifically stating that the US Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Biden’s victory.

In a bit of a change of tone from other world leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel directly denounced not only just the riot at the Capitol, but also directly placed the blame on President Trump. The Chancellor said, “I deeply regret that since November, President Trump has not accepted that he lost, and did not do so again yesterday. He stoked uncertainties about the election outcome, and that created an atmosphere that made the events of last night possible.” Merkel did in fact join in with other US allies in affirming the strength and faith they have in our country’s democracy.

Brexit leader and current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who notably was born in New York City, actually live tweeted during the riots, calling the scenes that were unfolding at the time “disgraceful.” The British PM also said, “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.” Johnson, known for having closer ties to President Trump than most other European leaders, decried Trump’s actions of the past few months saying, “insofar as he encouraged people to storm the Capitol, and insofar as the president consistently has cast doubt on the outcome of a free and fair election, I believe that that was completely wrong.”  

In Brazil, one of President Trump’s few friends on the world stage doubled down on his support. President Jair Bolsonaro, nicknamed “The Trump of the Tropics,” reportedly told supporters “I followed everything today. You know I’m connected to Trump, right? So you already know my answer.” Bolsonaro was silent on social media and he released no official statements on the events that had unfolded in Washington. Later on, Bolsonaro continued to defend Trump’s unsupported claims of voter fraud in the US while using the opportunity to mention that it could happen in Brazil soon as well.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was notably silent both during and after the storming of the US Capitol. Putin had an unusually cozy relationship with President Trump during the last four years and was one of the last world leaders to congratulate President-Elect Joe Biden on his electoral victory, which could be indicators that the Russian strongman will remain silent. Despite Putin’s silence, the Foreign Ministry still released a statement saying, “The events in Washington show that the US electoral process is archaic, does not meet modern standards and is prone to violations.”