On Wednesday afternoon, rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol during the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Here’s what followed…
President Donald Trump has finally pledged an “orderly transition.” After Congress certified Biden’s presidential election victory, Trump said early Thursday morning, "Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.” He added that while this represents the “end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again." Trump’s statement was tweeted by White House social media director Dan Scavino.
Trump has lost his social media megaphone -- at least for now. After the chaos, calls to ban Trump from social media platforms increased, as he continued to repeat falsehoods about the integrity of the presidential election. In response, Twitter locked Trump out of his account for 12 hours for violating its Civic Integrity policy, adding that future violations could result in a permanent suspension. Meanwhile, Facebook and Instagram aren’t allowing Trump to post for 24 hours following two violations of its policies. Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP of integrity, tweeted that the video was removed because it “contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.” The storming of Capitol Hill was organized on social media sites used by the far-right, such as Gab and Parler, reported The New York Times.
Trump’s last two weeks in office will be lonely ones. Following Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol building, people are distancing themselves from Trump. Top officials who have since resigned include former White House Press Secretary and Communications Director Stephanie Grisham, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews, White House social secretary Anna Cristina Niceta and Deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger. Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Liddell and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien are considering quitting their positions. Also of note: State Department official Gabriel Noronha took to Twitter and launched a blistering attack on the outgoing president and said he was “unfit to remain in office.”
Brands and business leaders are weighing in. Chevron called for the peaceful transition of the U.S. government. Meanwhile, the violence in Washington was strongly condemned by CEOs such as Google’s Sundar Pichai, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, BlackRock’s Larry Fink, General Motors’ Mary Barra, Citi’s Michael Corbat, IBM’s Arvind Krishna, Goldman Sachs’ David Solomon, Apple’s Tim Cook and Ford’s Jim Farley. National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO Jay Timmons raised the the specter of the 25th Amendment. Additionally, the Business Roundtable said "the country deserves better."
What else should business leaders be doing right now? They need to reassure employees in the wake of the riots, said Richard Edelman, global CEO of Edelman. “This is the general guidance I am giving clients now,” he said on Wednesday evening. “Get out there and talk to your people. They are scared, nervous and unsettled. Look, we have a job to do. We have to do our work every day. And we also have a job as citizens, too.” Edelman posted a brief message to his firm's blog to address the feelings of staffers who saw the same images unfold that he had.