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AirTalk Special Broadcast: Insurrection At The Capitol




WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Members of the National Guard and the Washington D.C. police stand guard to keep demonstrators away from the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Members of the National Guard and the Washington D.C. police stand guard to keep demonstrators away from the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

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A violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and forced lawmakers into hiding, in a stunning attempt to overturn America’s presidential election, undercut the nation’s democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House.  

The nation’s elected representatives scrambled to crouch under desks and donned gas marks, while police futilely tried to barricade the building, one of the most jarring scenes ever to unfold in a seat of American political power. A woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol, and Washington’s mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence. The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to descend on Washington Wednesday to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s victory.

Together, the protests and the GOP election objections amounted to an almost unthinkable challenge to American democracy and exposed the depths of the divisions that have coursed through the country during Trump’s four years in office. Though the efforts to block Biden from being sworn in on Jan. 20 are sure to fail, the support Trump has received for his efforts to overturn the election results have badly strained the nation’s democratic guardrails.

We dive in with a special evening hour of AirTalk, co-hosted by KPCC politics reporter Libby Denkmann

With files from the Associated Press

Guests: 

Debbie Truong, reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C.; she tweets @debbietruong   

Katie Orr, KQED government and politics reporter based in Sacramento; she tweets @1KatieOrr

Ange-Marie Hancock-Alfaro, professor of political science and chair of the department of political science and international relations at USC; she tweets @AngeMarieH

Hal Kempfer, CEO of Global Risk Intelligence and Planning (GRIP), a management consulting firm based in Long Beach, and retired Marine lieutenant colonel; he has worked in military support for homeland security and defense both as an active member of the military and as a civilian

Joanna Mendelson, associate director for the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League; she tweets @jo_mendelson