Donald Trump has told his supporters: "we love you, but go home," after hundreds of rioters stormed the US Capitol earlier and a woman was shot and killed.
Mr Trump ordered the National Guard to the US Capitol to quell the protests, which spiralled into violence on Wednesday afternoon as Houses of Congress and Representatives met to certify Joe Biden's win.
But moments later, the president doubled down on his false claims of election fraud, saying the vote has been "unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots".
George Bush, the former Republican president, attacked Mr Trump's "falsehoods" and said the scenes in Washington were reminiscent of "a banana republic".
What happened today
- The National Guard are trying to clear the US Capitol after violent Trump supporters stormed the building on Wednesday
- One woman was killed and several were injured as extremists clashed with police
- Senators and Congressmen were forced to flee for safety as protesters broke in
- The offices of politicians such as Nancy Pelosi were ransacked
- Donald Trump told supporters to "go home" but continued to repeat false claims of election fraud
- President-elect Joe Biden called for calm and said the protests were an "insurrection"
- Senators had been meeting to confirm the results of the US election but the process was abandoned
Extraordinary footage from Washington
In incredible scenes, Trump supporters attacked police and fought their way to the Capitol building.
Mike Pompeo: 'Violence is intolerable'
Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, has tweeted, calling the actions of the protesters "unacceptable".
The storming of the U.S. Capitol today is unacceptable. Lawlessness and rioting -- here or around the world -- is always unacceptable. I have travelled to many countries and always support the right of every human being to protest peacefully for their beliefs and their causes.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 6, 2021
George Bush condemns 'banana republic'
Former US president George Bush has condemned the "sickening and heartbreaking sight" at the US Capitol and said he is "appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election".
In a statement, Mr Bush appeared to attacked Donald Trump and the Republicans for the "the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement" and accused them of spreading "falsehoods".
He added: "This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic."
Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our Nation's government in disbelief and dismay. It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic - not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes. Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation.
Trump doubles down on false claims
Even as the Capitol is being assaulted , Donald Trump is continuing to tweet false claims that the election has been stolen.
In his tweet, which was deleted by Twitter, he claimed that the vote has been "unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots".
There are growing calls for Facebook and Twitter to remove the president's accounts.
Reports woman shot inside Capitol has now died of her injuries
NBC and Sky News quoting officials as saying the woman shot earlier inside the US Capitol building, who appeared in videos to be a Trump supporter, has died of her injuries. She appeared to have been shot in her neck, before a mob tried to attend to her.
Senator Lindsey Graham says Senate must reconvene today
"The US Senate must reconvene today and finish our constitutional work.," Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Committee, tweeted. "Calling for federal officials to form task force to identify those who breached the Capitol, vandalized our national institutions, and expect prosecutions to the fullest extent of the law."
Congressional leaders are being evacuated from the Capitol complex and will be taken to Fort McNair, according to a federal law enforcement official. It is possible it could be done from there.
The US constitution and federal law lays out that the vote certification must happen today.
Thankfully, the electoral ballots were saved:
13 arrests made today so far -DC police chief
Robert Contee, DC Chief of Police, says 13 arrests have been made today. Three of whom people arrested were from Arlington, Virginia, while all the others were from outside DC. He also noted firearms have been recovered by officers, including long guns and hand guns.
Boris Johnson says needs to be "orderly transfer of power"
"Disgraceful scenes in US Congress, the British prime minister tweeted. "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. "
EU officials expressed shock at the "assault on US democracy" witnessed by the storming of the US Congress on Wednesday by thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
"To witness tonight's scenes in Washington DC is a shock," European Council president Charles Michel tweeted.
"In the eyes of the world, American democracy tonight appears under siege," the European Union's foreign policy supremo Josep Borrell said, in a separate tweet.
"This is an unseen assault on US democracy, its institutions and the rule of law. This is not America. The election results of 3 November must be fully respected," Borrell said, referring to the US presidential election that saw Trump beaten by Joe Biden.
Borrell commended Biden, who had earlier given an address branding the protesters' forced entry into the Congress building an "insurrection".
"The strength of US democracy will prevail over extremist individuals," Borrell said.
Mobs now threatening to head to the home of DC mayor
Rozina Sabur, our Washington Correspondent who is on the scene, has this:
"Protesters outside the Capitol, being forced away from the area by tear gas, are now threatening to head to the home of Washington DC’s mayor, Muriel Bowser. Ms Bowser has ordered a 6pm curfew across the city but very few of those gathered here appear to be prepared to heed that demand. “We don’t give a s—- about a curfew,” one protester, who did not want to be named, told The Telegraph.
“This is our home,” he said as he gestured to the US House of Representatives. Loud bangs can still be heard in the distance, seemingly from police officers dispersing tear gas. Protesters, many with streaming eyes, are regrouping outside the Washington Monument.
Democrats take control of Senate after Ossoff win in Georgia
Amid all the chaos, it has just been announced that Democrats have taken US Senate majority after Jon Ossoff won his race in Georgia.
Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, Democratic challengers who represented the diversity of their party's evolving coalition, defeated Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler two months after Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since 1992.
Warnock, who served as pastor for the same Atlanta church where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. preached, becomes the first African American from Georgia elected to the Senate.
And Ossoff, a former documentary filmmaker, becomes the state's first Jewish senator and, at 33 years old, the Senate's youngest member.
Trump tells mob: 'we love you, you're special, but go home'
Donald Trump has released a roughly one-minute long video address on his Twitter account, telling supporters to go home and to respect the job of law enforcement.
"I know your pain, I know you're hurt, we had an election stolen from us, but you have to go home now. We have to have in peace," the president says outside the White House. "We have to respect our great people in law and order.
"We don't want anyone hurt. We have to have peace. We love you, you're very special."
In an unprecedented move, Twitter appeared to prevent the liking and sharing of Trump's post, due to the "risk of violence."
Biden addresses the nation: "Our democracy is under unprecedented assault"
The President-elect is giving an address, calling on Donald Trump to call an end to the seige of the Capitol.
"Our democracy is under unprecedented assault. Unlike anything we've seen in modern times," Joe Biden says from Delaware.
"The scenes at the Capitol do not represent America, do not represent who we are. They are a small number of extremists. It's chaos. It borders on sedition," Biden goes on. "I am genuinely shocked and saddened that the beacon of democracy is seeing such a dark moment. We will endure here and we will prevail."
National Guard on the way, "cavalry" of local riot police arrive on scene
Several updates on police presence, which has so far been virtually none.
:: CNN reporting that a "cavalry" of police officers from Montgomery Country wearing in riot gear has just arrived at the scene
:: The governor of Virginia is sending members of the Virginia National Guard, along with 200 Virginia state troopers, to DC
:: Trump's press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, tweets that the National Guard on the way "at the president's request"
CNN reports a woman shot inside the Capitol building
A woman is in critical condition after being shot inside the Capitol building. A video has been circulating online of the shooting, which the Telegraph will not be sharing. It appears she is Trump supporter shot in or near her neck. A gunshot can be heard and protesters are seen rushing to help her. It is unclear from the footage who the shooter was.
Trump calls for calm
Donald Trump, who called on protesters to march to the Capitol building, have tweeted telling his supporters to respect law enforcement and to keep things "peaceful".
"I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful," he said. "No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you! "
Alyssa Farah, until very recently Trump's communications director, appeals to him to call off the mob currently storming the US Capitol.
KellyAnne Conway joined in too, tweeting: "STOP. Just STOP. Peace. Law and Order. Safety for All."
Armed standoff outside House door
Journalists in the House have reported an armed standoff with guns drawn after protesters tried to bang down the door.
One journalist tweeted that protesters are on the third floor of the Senate, walking door-to-door, shouting “Where the f*** are they?”, referring to Members of Congress.
Another, Olivia Beavers from Politico, tweeted: "We are hiding behind chairs and tables on House gallery. Some are crying."
Charles Ramsey, former DC police chief , says on CNN: “This is as close to a coup attempt that this country has ever seen. That’s what you’re looking at, folks.”
Representatives have been given gas masks:
Pence and senators evacuated, Capital in lockdown as protesters breach building
Mike Pence and senators appear to have been evacuated from from the US Senate after protesters breached the barricades.
Demonstrators are banging on the door and have broken the glass window.
Police ordered the evacuation of several office buildings for the US Congress Wednesday as supporters of President Donald Trump broke down security barricades on the steps of the Capitol.
Capitol Police sent orders for Congressional staff to leave the Cannon building and other large offices after Trump called on his followers to protest the certification of Joe Biden's election victory inside the legislature.
Trump ally Senator Ted Cruz says there is "no certitude" in result
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, one of President Trump's staunchest allies, tells the Senate floor that there is a "great deal of moralising" from "both sides" and that they should show "a bit less certitude."
He said large numbers of Americans believed the election was "rigged" and polls showed that included 17 per cent of Democrats., reports our Washington Editor, Nick Allen, in Congress.
Mr Cruz said: "It is a reality for nearly half the country." He said "simply telling he voters go jump in a lake" would "jeopardise the legitimacy of this and subsequent elections."
Mr Cruz said: "I am not arguing for setting aside the result of the election." Instead, he wanted Congress to appoint an impartial electoral commission to hold an emergency 10-day audit and resolve the claims.
Mr Cruz said he was basing his request in what happened after the 1876 election.
Members of Congress forced to evacuate
Several Members of Congress are tweeting that the violent protests on the Capitol have forced them to evacuate their offices or seek shelter.
Police are reportedly now arrested a number of the protesters.
I’m sheltering in place in my office. The building next door has been evacuated. I can’t believe I have to write this.— Rep. Haley Stevens (@RepHaleyStevens) January 6, 2021
Senate Majority Leader McConnell warns of 'death spiral' in US politics
Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, is speaking now, saying in his 36 years in the Senate, this is the important vote he has cast. The senior Republican chastises Trump for spreading dangerous conspiracy theories and says there is no proof of illegality.
"We're debating a step that has never been taken in Americana history - whether Congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election," he says.
"President Trump claims the election was stolen. Nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election."
He said Congress had a limited role. "We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of election on steroids. Voters, courts, the states have all spoken. They've all spoken. If we overrule them it would damage our republic forever.
"If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side then our democracy would enter a death spiral.
"We'd never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every election would be a scramble for power at any cost. The Electoral College would cease to exist."
Republicans challenge Arizona's votes for Biden
As the joint session of Congress began hearing the formal count of Electoral College votes from each state the first objection has been made, Nick Allen reports. It came after the results for Arizona, one of the first states in the alphabet, were read. Mr Biden won Arizona.
After the objection was made a group of Republican senators and members of Congress, including Senator Ted Cruz, stood and applauded. Mike Pence then adjourned the joint session and the Senate and House will each hold a debate on Arizona.
The debates on Arizona could last up to two hours.
Trump supporters breach Capitol
It appears Trump supporters have breached the Capitol building, tearing down four layers of security fencing.
They are now attempting to occupy the building, fighting federal police who appear overrun. This comes minutes after the president called on those gathered at the rally in Washington DC to march to the Capitol to call on congress members to object to the electoral college vote certification.
Here is a video from a journalist on the scene:
BREAKING: Trump supporters have breached the Capitol building, tearing down 4 layers of security fencing and are attempting to occupy the building — fighting federal police who are overrun— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) January 6, 2021
This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Thousands, police can’t stop them pic.twitter.com/VVdTUwV5YN
Another one here:
Some are erecting a giant wooden cross:
Pence defies Trump and refuses to contest election certification
Mike Pence Vice President, has sent a letter to Members of Congress ahead of today’s Joint Session of Congress:, essentially refusing to do what President Trump is asking by contesting the certification.
Pence, who has a largely formal and constitutionally prescribed role of presiding over the House and Senate, said he cannot claim "unilateral authority" to reject electoral votes that will make Joe Biden president.
"I do not believe that the Founders of our country intended to invest the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide which electoral voters should be counted," he writes. "It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not."
Rebel Republicans file for election certification stay at Supreme Court
A group led by US Representative Louis Gohmert has just filed for administrative stay and interim relief with the Supreme Court over the certification of the election results.
Trump: I'll lead march to the Capitol to stop election certification
Trump just encouraged the sizable crowd gathered in DC to march on the Capitol during Electoral College certification later today.
The president said it will be leading the march to the Capitol where the crowd will cheer on Members of Congress in real time who object to the certification of Joe Biden.
Trump speaking at DC rally: we will never concede
Donald Trump is speaking at the "Save America" rally in Washington DC. He says: “These people are not going to take it any longer. They’re not going to take it any longer.
"We will never give up, we will never concede. It doesn't happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved," he says.
“Does anybody believe that Joe got 80 million votes? Does anybody believe that?” Trump asks the crowd. "NO!" many shout back. “He got 80m computer votes. It’s a disgrace."
He says of his supporters that there has "never been a movement like this, ever, ever," to crowds shouting "we love Trump!"
Republican Party in turmoil
Videos have been emerging all morning of Republican senators facing the wrath of angry Trump supporters, who have descended on Washington DC for the "Save America" rally. This one shows Trumpers shouting at Senator Todd Young of Indiana, who has not publicly given his support to the bid to oppose the election's certification in the Senate today.
"It’s Republican v Republican on the steps of Congress this morning," writes Ben Riley-Smith, our US Editor. "A foretaste of the almighty struggle coming between the GOP’s Trumpist and traditionalist wings."
Trump soon to address "Stop the Steal" rally
Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump, including members of far-right groups, gathered in Washington in protest at a meeting of Congress on Wednesday to certify Joe Biden's victory in November's presidential election.
Trump, who lost the election promised to address the protesters at the Ellipse, a park near the White House, where Biden is due to take over in two weeks.
"BIG CROWDS!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, is warming up the huge crowd, saying he's willing to stake his reputation and Trump's reputation on there being fraud in the presidential election.
"Over the next 10 days, we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent," said Giuliani. "If we're wrong, we will be made fools of. But if we're right, and lot of them will go to jail. So -- let's have trial by combat."
Joe Biden heralds Democratic victory in Georgia
President-elect Joe Biden is heralding a Democratic victory in at least one of Georgia's two US Senate runoffs as part of "a resounding message," as well as good news for his agenda.
“I congratulate Reverend Warnock on his groundbreaking win last night and I am hopeful that when the count is complete, Jon Ossoff will also be victorious,” Biden said.
“I congratulate the people of Georgia, who turned out in record numbers once again, just as they did in November, to elect two new Senators, demand action, and call on our elected leaders to end the gridlock and move us forward as a nation.”
Biden also praised the work of two prominent Georgia women in clinching Warnock’s win.
“I also congratulate the twin powers of Georgia, Stacey Abrams and Keisha Lance Bottoms, who have laid the difficult groundwork necessary to encourage turnout and protect the vote over these last years.”
Georgia voting official: fraud only exists in Trump's 'fertile mind'
Gabriel Sterling, the voting systems implementation manager for the Georgia Secretary of State's office, is giving a press conference now. Asked by a reporter whether he has seen any sign of malfeasance, the Republican says: "There is no evidence of any irregularities. The biggest thing we've seen is from the president's fertile mind, a finding of fraud where none exists."
"While the Democrats were out there knocking out doors, Trump was out there discouraging people from voting," he said of why he thought the two Republican candidates were performing badly.
Sterling has been outspoken in his criticism for Donald Trump, who he says is propagating disinformation about election fraud in Georgia.
Sterling says he anticipates that all but a few votes will be counted by 1 pm local time (6pm UK) and that Ossoff will very likely defeat Perdue.
He told journalists that it is looking like Ossoff will win by more than half a percentage point, thus avoiding a recount. We'll bring you more when we have it.
Ossoff 0.4 ahead of Republican Perdue
David Perdue currently sits .4% behind Jon Ossoff with a few strong Democrat counties yet to finish reporting. That translates as a roughly 17,000 vote difference. According to Georgia law, if two candidates are within a 0.5 percentage point margin or less, either one is able to request a recount. That means the leading candidate will have to clear that margin to claim an uncontested win.
Perdue had a more comfortable lead over Ossoff in the November election, so the numbers will be disappointing for Republicans.
David Wasserman, election forecaster at The Cook Political Report, projected an Ossoff win last night, but networks did not believe they have currently seen enough to call it.
'President Trump has disrespected the American voters' says Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney, Senator of Utah, has hit back at President Trump after getting harassed by a flight full of Trump supporters and he did not mince his words, reports Josie Ensor.
The only Republican Senator to vote to impeach Trump in 2020 said “it turns out telling voters the election is rigged is not a good way to turn out your voters...President Trump has disrespected the American voters, has dishonored the election system and has disgraced the office of the presidency”.
“I’m confident we’ll proceed as the Constituion demands and tell our supporters the truth whether or not they want to hear it,” he added of today’s GOP election challenge.
Romney: “it turns out telling voters the election is rigged is not a good way to turn out your voters...President Trump has disrespected the American voters, has dishonored the election system and has disgraced the office of the presidency”— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) January 6, 2021
Chuck Schumer declares himself Senate Majority Leader
The Leader of the Senate Democrats Chuck Schumer has declared himself the new Senate Majority Leader, despite the fact that the race between Jon Ossoff and David Perdue has yet to be declared.
“It feels like a brand new day. For the first time in six years, Democrats will operate a majority in the United States Senate — and that will be very good for the American people,” Sen Schumer said in a statement released Wednesday morning.
“America is experiencing one of the greatest crises we have ever faced, and the Senate Democratic Majority is committed to delivering the bold change and help Americans need and demand. Senate Democrats know America is hurting,” he added, signalling that the Democrats will make a beefed coronavirus relief bill their top priority.
Sen Schumer will replace Mitch McConnell as the Senate Majority Leader, a fact former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton seemed to enjoy on Twitter.
Trump's golfing jaunt to Scotland not "essential", says Nicola Sturgeon
Donald Trump will be leaving office on January 20 when Joe Biden is inaugurated, but his plans to leave the USA to go golfing in Scotland on January 19 appear to have been scuppered by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Ms Sturgeon has warned the President that golf does not constitute an 'essential' reason for travel and as such, were he to come to Scotland to play, he would be in breach of Covid rules.
Who is First Lady Dr Jill Biden - and how will she take to the role?
As we continue looking ahead to a Biden presidency, Rozina Sabur explores how Jill Biden will take to the role of First Lady.
Jill Biden spent eight years serving as the Second Lady during the Obama administration, but her highly personal nine-minute live address at the Democratic Convention in August, from an empty classroom at the high school where she used to teach, was her first formal introduction to most of the American public.
A self-professed introvert, Dr Biden has always been reticent about entering the political spotlight, although she is often described as Joe Biden's biggest defender and one of his best assets. She is also said to be one of his most trusted political advisers, reportedly playing a pivotal role in helping Mr Biden narrow down his list of potential running mates.
Trump reacts to Jon Ossoff's declaration of victory
The President is awake and tweeting, and has reacted to Jon Ossoff's declaration of victory over David Perdue with typical good grace and decorum.
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, OUR COUNTRY, NEEDS THE PRESIDENCY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE - THE POWER OF THE VETO. STAY STRONG!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
They just happened to find 50,000 ballots late last night. The USA is embarrassed by fools. Our Election Process is worse than that of third world countries!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Donald Trump's presidency: The best and worst moments from his four years as US President
As we enter the final two weeks of Donald Trump's presidency, Dominic Penna our video team take a look back at his tumultuos four years in office.
Since his victory in 2016 and inauguration in 2017, Donald Trump has been at the helm of one of the most unconventional and eventful presidencies in recent memory.
From the inauguration crowd size controversy, to meeting Kim Jong-un and swearing in three Supreme Court justices, Mr Trump ploughed ahead with his unique style of leadership which sometimes stumped even the most seasoned of Washington correspondents.
To round off his term in office, Mr Trump faced both an impeachment, a devastating pandemic in the months leading up to the 2020 election, and most recently, a controversial phone call with Georgia's Secretary of State in an attempt to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the state.
Stacey Abrams congratulates Jon Ossoff
Stacey Abrams has tweeted her congratulations to Jon Ossoff, who just a few moments ago, declared victory in his Senate race against David Perdue.
"Jon Ossoff will stand for all of Georgia in the fight for healthcare, jobs + justice. And our nation will be all the better for having him," she tweeted. "Congratulations!"
In 2017, Georgia’s next U.S. Senator @ossoff confronted a dark chapter in our nation’s story by standing for office. Now Jon Ossoff will stand for all of Georgia in the fight for healthcare, jobs + justice. And our nation will be all the better for having him. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/dJVHA7MbOV— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) January 6, 2021
MAGA Movement is going nowhere, says Eric Trump
Donald Trump's son Eric has said this morning that the MAGA Movement started by his father is "going nowhere".
He also issued a stark warning to any Republican who votes to certify the results of the election in Congress today, saying "any senator or any congressman on this side that does not fight tomorrow, I’m telling you will not, their political career is over because the MAGA movement is going nowhere."
Jon Ossoff declares victory
Democrat Jon Ossoff has declared victory over Republican David Perdue in the second run-off election in Georgia.
In a video released on Twitter, the former documentary film maker thanked the people of Georgia and urged people to "Let's unite now to beat this virus and rush economic relief to the people of our state and the American people."
No networks or major news outlets have called the race for Mr Ossoff as yet and his opponent has not yet conceded.
Raphael Warnock says win gives Georgia 'a sense of hope'
Hours after winning one of Georgia's high-stakes runoffs, Rev. Raphael Warnock says people in his state "are feeling a sense of hope this morning."
Speaking in a round of morning television interviews, he said his victory "pushes against the grain of so many expectations, but this is America and I want some young person who's watching this to know anything's possible."
Georgia is now in "an incredible place when you think of the arc of our history," he said.
"This is the reversal of the old southern strategy that sought to divide people," Rev. Warnock said on ABC's 'Good Morning America'. "In this moment we've got to bring people together to do the hard work and I look forward to doing that."
He told NBC's 'Today' that "we can ill-afford to be divided. And I hope to be the pastor among peers in the United States Senate to appeal to the better angels of our nature and to remind us that Dr. King was right, we're tied of a single garment of destiny."
Inauguration Day 2021: When is Joe Biden sworn in as US president?
Joe Biden is expected to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, writes Verity Bowman.
Despite ongoing tensions with Donald Trump over the 2020 Election, the traditional outdoor ceremony is set to go ahead - though the coronavirus pandemic could scale back the usual celebrations.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell?
Although the result has yet to be confirmed, it seems as though Democrats will take control of the Senate, meaning their arch-nemesis in Congress Mitch McConnell will have a new job title.
Mr McConnell, a Senator from Kentucky, has spent much of the last six years blocking legislation championed by the Democrats. He has also managed to get three Supreme Court Justices confirmed during his tenure, after blocking Barack Obama's attempt to get Merrick Garland confirmed in 2016.
Some prominent Democrats have taken to Twitter to gloat about his possible impending departure from the Majority Leader's Office, including California Governor Gavin Newsom.
Trump supporters gather in DC
The sun has not yet risen in Washington DC but a small army of Trump supporters has already descended on the US capital, Rozina Sabur writes.
As reporters line up outside the White House grounds to receive their credentials for Donald Trump’s address later today, protesters have been streaming passed. Many have been hurling abuse, in a sign of how toxic US politics has become. “Why don’t you tell the truth?” shouts one. “You’re going to burn in hell,” says another.
Washington is braced for unrest today with thousands of protests and counter- protests expected to mark Congress’ certification of the electoral college results.
For the president’s supporters today marks an opportunity to express their frustration with the outcome of the election, and protests against what many believe was a fraudulent race. For Democrats, the event marks the final chapter in the Trump presidency.
What next for Donald Trump's children, after Joe Biden's inauguration?
With the final nail being hammered in to the Donald Trump presidency today, our reporter Nick Allen takes a look at what is next for some of his closest advisers - his children.
The Trump presidency has been a family affair and, as Donald Trump's star falls, his children find their futures looking uncertain too.
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner have been White House employees, senior advisers to the president and, after he leaves office will be looking for new work.
When Mr Trump assumed office, he left his adult sons, Donald Jr and Eric, running the Trump Organization. If he were to decide to resume control of his business they may be less busy too.
It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Mr Trump's exit from the White House will lead to the start of a Trump political dynasty.
Raphael Warnock: the African-American pastor who made history with Georgia Senate run-off win
Reverend Raphael Warnock has become the first African-American to win a Senate seat in the history of Georgia after he defeated Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler in a special run-off election on Tuesday night.
The 51-year-old has never held political office before, but he has been an active member of Georgia’s political scene, spending much of the last decade campaigning for the expansion of Medicaid, criminal justice reform and increasing voter registration.
Born the son of two Pentecostal pastors and raised in public housing in Savannah, Georgia, Rev Warnock has committed much of his life to his faith.
Meet Joe Biden's presidential transition team
Today marks the day when Congress is expected to certify the Electoral College vote, officially recognising Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.
The clock is ticking. With or without the co-operation of the outgoing Trump administration during the transition, Joe Biden wants to hit the ground running when he takes office on January 20.
Irrespective of the blizzard of litigation, Mr Biden has already identified key members of the team he hopes will help ensure that his administration assumes the reins of government smoothly.
Trump supporters clash with police in Washington DC
Elsewhere in America, Trump supporters have been gathering in Washington DC for a day of protests and rallies today.
Protesters are gathering in anticipation of the certification of the electoral college results in Congress this afternoon. Once ratified, Joe Biden's victory as President will be officially confirmed.
Overnight, MAGA supporters clashed with police in the nation's capital, as seen in footage on social media.
President Trump has spent much of the last few days attempting to pressure his VP Mike Pence to stop Congress from ratifying the results.
How defeat in Senate battle could leave a hamstrung Joe Biden struggling to accomplish real change
It is hard to over-exaggerate just how much is riding on the remaining Senate seat race in Georgia which will decide the balance of power and thus the fate of many of Joe Biden's policies, writes our US editor Ben Riley-Smith
On the current maths the Democrats have 49 seats and the Republicans have 50. Win the last so-called ‘run-off’ races in Georgia and the Democrats are just about over the line. In tied votes in the US Senate, the deciding vote is cast by the vice president, soon to be Kamala Harris. Mr Biden can pass some laws in that case without Republican votes.
But if they fall short the Republicans keep their majority. And that means Mitch McConnell remains as Senate leader.
What will Joe Biden's first 100 days as US president look like?
As the Democrats inch closer to control of the Senate, and a clean sweep politically, our reporter Nick Allen looks at what this could mean for the first 100 days of Joe Biden's presidency.
President-elect Joe Biden is due to be sworn into office on January 20. Mr Biden made a long list of promises for his first 100 days, but his overriding priority will be the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, he is expected to try to roll the clock back as much as possible to January 2017, when he and Barack Obama left office.
That would involve using executive orders, as much as possible, to overturn orders introduced by Mr Trump, including those that loosened environmental regulations.
Ossoff extends lead once again
In scenes reminiscent of the second week of November, all eyes are on the vote tabulaters in Georgia, who have just released their latest batch of counted ballots.
It's good news for the Democrats, as Jon Ossoff now holds a lead of 16,370 votes, according to CNN, which means he is not only inching closer to victory, but inching closer to a win without a recount.
With 98 per cent of ballots counted, Mr Ossoff has a lead of 0.4 per cent over Mr Perdue, taking him within striking distance of exceeding the 0.5 per cent recount threshold.
However, as Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said earlier today, it is unlikely we will have a final tally until this afternoon.
Trump cries foul in Georgia
President Trump has spent the morning calling fraud in the run-off elections in Georgia, where Democrats have already won one race and are closing in on winning a second.
"Looks like they are setting up a big “voter dump” against the Republican candidates," the President tweeted. "Waiting to see how many votes they need?"
"Just happened to have found another 4000 ballots from Fulton County. Here we go!" he tweeted a little later.
Jon Ossoff continues to extend his lead over David Perdue
Democrat Jon Ossoff has extended his lead over Republican David Perdue to 16,370 votes with 98 per cent of ballots counted, according to Edison Research.
That gives Mr Ossoff a 0.4 per cent lead over Mr Perdue, taking him close to clearing the 0.5 per cent threshold under which Mr Perdue could automatically request a recount.
Stacey Abrams congratulates Raphael Warnock
Stacey Abrams, a former Representative in the Georgia House, has congratulated Rev Warnock on his Senate victory.
Ms Abrams, who is seen as a key figure in the Democratic party, was credited with significantly increasing Democratic turnout in Georgia in the 2020 Presidential election.
Congratulations to our next U.S. Senator, @ReverendWarnock. Last January, I endorsed my dear friend in his quest to serve. Soon, he will walk those august halls & cast votes as a leader with courage, justice and integrity.— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) January 6, 2021
God bless you and keep you in your service to us all. pic.twitter.com/lzdDxRA5zv
Result won't be known until 'noon', says Brad Raffensperger
Further to our post at 8.23am, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has told CNN that some counties will now take a break from counting, and that we should have a better idea of the final results at "noon" on the East Coast, which is 5pm in London.
“They’re probably going to take a break here, I think, in the next hour. Try and get as much work as they can done tonight ... At least, record exactly how many ballots are out there and then get as much scanning done tomorrow. Hopefully by noon we’ll have a better idea where we are,” he said.
Ossoff extends lead over Perdue
In the latest batch of counted votes, Democrat Jon Ossoff has extended his lead over Republican David Perdue to 12,806 votes.
This gives him a lead of 0.2 per cent, which is still within the band where the loser in the race can request a recount. The winner must win by 0.5 per cent in order to avoid such a scenario.
President Trump continues to pressure Mike Pence
Donald Trump has taken to Twitter this morning to continue his attempts to pressure his VP Mike Pence to decertify results from some states, which would deny victory to Joe Biden.
"If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency," Trump tweeted. "Many States want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying incorrect."
"Mike can send it back!"
If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency. Many States want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying incorrect & even fraudulent numbers in a process NOT approved by their State Legislatures (which it must be). Mike can send it back!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Some Georgia counties to resume counting in the morning
It may be a while before we know the final result if the Ossoff-Perdue race, as several key counties in Georgia have stopped counting votes for the night.
Chatham County, Fulton County and Cobb County, which all contain significant urban and suburban populations, will resume their counts around 8am local time (1pm GMT).
African-American vote fuels Warnock win
Rev. Warnock, the senior pastor of the church where Martin Luther King preached through the height of the Civil Rights movement until his assassination, made history with a surge in African-American turnout.
To be sure, a narrow win out of 4.4 million votes involves plenty of variables. But African-American voters were a force in the early vote and on Election Day. Notably, it wasn't just in metro Atlanta, but also in rural and small-town counties across South Georgia, where African-American turnout has historically lagged.
That means it was an alliance spanning from the most affluent African-American residents of Atlanta, including recent transplants to Georgia, to those African-American Georgia natives who hail from the most economically depressed pockets of the state.
This election cycle a confluence of factors for African-American voters: 2020 offered the first general election after the disappointment of Stacey Abrams' narrowly missing out in 2018 on becoming the first African-American woman governor in U.S. history, and it was the first election after the death of Rep. John Lewis, Atlanta's civil rights icon who once marched alongside King and would publicly joust with Trump.
Ms Loeffler and her Republican allies used the two-month runoff campaign to hammer Rev Warnock with ads calling him "dangerous" and "radical." They used snippets of his sermons from Ebenezer Baptist Church to accuse him of "hate speech" and "racial" divisiveness.
But African-American voters can point to Tuesday's vote count and take credit for that strategy ending in defeat.
Ossoff-Perdue race still too close to call
The race for U.S. Senate in Georgia between incumbent GOP Sen. David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff is too early to call.
As of 7:40 a.m. GMT Wednesday, Ossoff had a lead of 9,527 votes out of nearly 4.4 million counted, or a margin of less than 0.2 percentage points.
There were still some mail ballots and in-person early votes left to be counted statewide, the majority of which are in Democratic-leaning counties.
Under Georgia law, a trailing candidate may request a recount when the margin of an election is less than or equal to 0.5 percentage points.
The Perdue-Ossoff race was one of two runoff elections that Georgia held Tuesday. In the other election, Democrat Raphael Warnock unseated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
The races will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Democrats must win both seats to take power, while Republicans only need one to keep Mitch McConnell as majority leader.
Perdue campaign says they will ensure 'all legal ballots' are counted
The campaign for Republican David Perdue, who currently narrowly trails Democrat Jon Ossoff, has released a statement saying they believe "Senator Perdue will be victorious".
Using language that echoes that used by Donald Trump in the wake of his defeat to Joe Biden, the campaign said: "We will mobilise every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse to ensure all legally cast ballots are properly counted."
"We believe in the end, Senator Perdue will be victorious."
With 98 per cent of the vote counted, Sen. Perdue currently trails Mr Ossoff by 9,527 votes.
Stocks fall as investors brace for possible 'blue sweep' in Georgia
Global stock prices slipped and bond yields rose on Wednesday as investors braced for the prospect that Democrats could win both seats at stake in a U.S. Senate run-off election in Georgia, handing them control of the chamber.
Along with their narrow majority in the House of Representatives, a 'blue sweep' of Congress could usher in larger fiscal stimulus and pave the way for President-elect Joe Biden to push through greater corporate regulation and higher taxes.
Broadcaster NBC called one of the races for Democrat Raphael Warnock, unseating incumbent Kelly Loeffler, while Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff held a slim lead over Republican David Perdue in the other with 98% of votes counted.
"With Biden proposing to reverse President Donald Trump's tax cut, increase the minimum wage, and strengthen oversight on various industries, some might argue that his agenda is not particularly market-friendly," said Vasu Menon, investment strategy executive director at OCBC Bank in Singapore.
Futures for the S&P 500 fell 0.8%, while Nasdaq futures shed 1.6% on fears Democrats could pursue tighter regulations on big tech firms.
Democratic challenger Ossoff takes lead
Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff has taken a lead of about 3,500 votes in his close race against Republican US Senator David Perdue in Georgia, according to Edison Research.
Both candidates have 50.0 per cent of the vote, but Ossoff has edged ahead of Perdue 2,195,441 to 2,191,881 with 98 per cent of the expected vote counted, according to Edison.
NBC projects Warnock winner of Senate race
The NBC television network on Wednesday projected Democrat Raphael Warnock the winner of his U.S. Senate runoff election against Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler.
With 98% of the vote in, Warnock led Loeffler 50.5 per cent to 49.5 per cent, according to Edison Research.
Warnock, a pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King once preached, would become Georgia's first Black senator if final election results confirmed his victory.
Wait for winners to be declared in record breaking run-off
The close margins in the race means the winners might not be clear until at least Wednesday morning in the US.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said election officials would take a break overnight but resume counting on Wednesday morning. "Hopefully by noon we'll have a better idea where we are," he said on CNN.
Most of the votes remaining to be counted were in counties Joe Biden won in November, with roughly 30,000 to go in DeKalb and Newton counties near Atlanta, according to Edison Research estimates.
The critical races drew an estimated 4.5 million voters - a record for a run-off.
Democrat claims victory before winner declared
Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock claimed victory on Tuesday night in a key US Senate race against Republican Kelly Loeffler - who has not conceded defeat.
US officials and major media had yet to declare a winner for either of the two Georgia seats at stake, both of which Joe Biden's Democrats need to flip to take control of the Senate.
"Georgia, I am honored by the faith that you have shown in me," Warnock, a 51-year-old Black pastor, said in a televised address shortly after midnight. "And I promise you this tonight, I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia."
Run-offs still neck and neck in seesaw night
As the hour slipped past midnight on the East Coast, the odds of Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff beating Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue were slowing inching up.
It was a seesaw night. Warnock and Ossoff jumped to early leads, but as more votes came in, the Republicans swung in front.
It made for some great television suspense, although people following online saw a different view. The New York Times website estimated the victory probabilities in each race and, as the evening progressed, moved steadily in the Democrats' direction. After midnight, the Times judged both Warnock and Ossoff had a better than 95 per cent chance of winning.
Even before 10 pm, Dave Wasserman of the influential Cook Political Report tweeted that he had seen enough to predict Warnock would beat Loeffler. That led Twitter, however, to slap his prediction with a warning that other sources were saying it was too close to call.
Georgia GOP election night party beginning to empty
The Republican election night party in Atlanta is beginning to empty, with those remaining increasingly concerned that one or both GOP Georgia Senate candidates could lose.
That would give Georgia a Democratic senator for the first time since 2005, when Zell Miller retired from his seat.
John Burke, a spokesperson for Republican David Perdue, says, "This is going to be close." He says, "We'll see how the last few votes go."
Survey reveals voter division in battleground state
As votes were tallied on Tuesday night, Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff had the backing of Black voters, younger voters, people earning less than $50,000 and newcomers to the state, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of voters in Tuesday's high-stakes Senate contests.
The Republican coalition backing Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue was the mirror opposite: white, older, wealthier and longtime Georgia residents.
The findings from AP VoteCast reveal the extent of Georgia's recent political transformation - from GOP bastion to electoral battleground where turnout is decisive.
The survey found roughly 30 per cent of Georgia voters were Black and almost all of them - 94 per cent - backed Democrats. Voters under 45, those earning less than $50,000 and those who recently moved to Georgia all broke for Democrats.
But Republicans held firmly onto their supporters, bringing out white voters and those older than 45 - groups that still account for majorities of Georgia voters. Republicans Perdue and Loeffler also fared better than their rivals among voters earning more than $75,000 and those who have called Georgia home for more than 20 years.
Trump claims 'voter dump' against Republican candidates
Donald Trump has suggested that Georgian officials are waiting to see how many votes Democrats need to beat the Republicans before announcing results.
In his latest unfounded claim of election fraud, Mr Trump appears to be saying that the vote is rigged against his party. But votes are being published in batches as they are counted, with delays due to counting a large number of postal votes.
Trump statement with wrong date provokes ridicule
We've all done it, haven't we? When the new year begins, it takes a few days to get used to writing the correct date.
But most of us aren't writing statements for the the president of the United States.
A post issued by the Trump campaign has provoked ridicule on Twitter after it contained a number of falsehoods – and the wrong date.
In the statement, the president's team denied a New York Times report that Mike Pence will certify Joe Biden's victory. The statement claims, wrongly, that the vice-president "can decertify the results or send them back to the states for change and certification. He can also decertify the illegal and corrupt results and send them to the House of Representatives for the one vote for one state tabulation." This is not true and there is no precedent for a US vice-president doing this.
The statement was also incorrectly dated 2020.
Proud Boys leader banned from DC
Washington police banned the leader of a far-right group from the city and made two arrests on Tuesday as protesters supporting President Trump's attempts to overturn the election gathered in the city.
Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, who was arrested on Monday for destruction of property and possession of a firearm magazine, was released on Tuesday and ordered to stay away from the city, according to a court document.
Protests against President-elect Joe Biden's November election win, which Congress will certify on Wednesday, started across the US capital on Tuesday and were expected to grow on Wednesday to thousands of people.
Mr Trump, who lost the election by 7 million votes, was expected to speak to protesters on Wednesday morning at the Ellipse, a public park south of the White House, he said in a post on Twitter on Tuesday evening.
Trump to blame if we lose, says Republican official
A top Republican official in the Georgia secretary of state’s office has blamed Donald Trump for the Republican party's results so far, as early counts suggest they may be heading for defeat.
Gabriel Sterling told CNN that if the Republican senators lose, the blame ought to "fall squarely on the shoulders of President Trump and his actions since November 3".
Mr Sterling has criticised Mr Trump’s untrue claims of fraud in the November election. He told CNN that the president's claims undermined Republican voters' trust in voting.
Mr Sterling also claimed that the president has started a "civil war" among Georgia Republicans by denying the results of the November election.
FBI investigated Georgia bomb threat
The elections director for Georgia's most populous county said a bomb threat targeting an Election Day polling place was investigated last week by the FBI.
Rick Barron of Fulton County said during a media briefing that "the person said that the Nashville bombing was a practice run for what we would see today at one of our polling places."
A bomb detonated in downtown Nashville on Christmas morning, killing the bomber and injuring three other people and damaging dozens of buildings.
The Fulton County threat, received on December 30, was reported to the FBI. Mr Barron said agents visited the Tennessee home of the man who made the threat and searched it but did not make any arrests.
Mr Barron also revealed that several members of his staff have received death threats and "innumerable racial slurs" have been directed at his staff, by phone and on social media.
Bush to attend inauguration
Republican former US president George W Bush will attend the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20, his chief of staff has said.
"President and Mrs Bush look forward to returning to the Capitol for the swearing in of President Biden and Vice President Harris," Freddy Ford tweeted.
"Witnessing the peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy that never gets old," he added, in a seeming jab at President Trump who refuses to concede defeat and has not confirmed if he will attend Mr Biden's inauguration.
It will be the eighth swearing-in ceremony the Bushs have attended, Mr Ford said.
In-person turnout surges in Atlanta counties
More people voted in Georgia's most populous county during Tuesday's run-off election than on Election Day in November.
Fulton County elections director Rick Barron said there were more than 70,000 votes cast in person on Tuesday, with about 60,000 in-person votes on November 3. Fulton County includes most of Atlanta and is heavily Democratic.
Mr Barron noted that there were fewer absentee ballots cast than during the general election and that the early in-person voting period was four days shorter, both of which he said may have contributed to the higher Election Day turnout.
Spokesperson Summer Dunham says neighbouring DeKalb County, also a Democratic stronghold, also had more in-person votes on Tuesday than on November 3.
First results: Big lead for Democrats
Georgia voters in Tuesday's run-off races were evenly divided about which party should win, an exit poll showed.
With about 10 per cent of the vote counted, Democrat Rev Raphael Warnock led Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler by 54.9pc to 45.1pc, while Jon Ossoff led Republican Senator David Perdue by 54.3pc to 45.7pc. However, those votes are from counties in Atlanta that are expected to vote Democrat.
Edison Research's exit poll found roughly half of voters would prefer the Republican Party to retain control and half would like to see the Democrats take over, reflecting how close the two races were likely to be.
The poll also found about half of voters in the two Senate run-off races voted for President Donald Trump in November's presidential election and half for Democrat Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, about three quarters of voters who backed Republican candidates in Tuesday's votes said Joe Biden was not legitimately elected in November, according to AP VoteCast.
Polls close across state
Most polls have now closed in Georgia, though voters who were in line before 7pm (12am UK) will be allowed to vote.
Results will begin to be posted in the next hour, though it may be some time before we have a definitive result.
Officials have already started processing postal votes which should help to avoid a repeat of the scenes in November when Georgia's votes took days to count.
Explained: the Georgia Senate vote
Georgia officials have started counting ballots as polls close across the state in two critical races.
Here's what you need to know.
What are these votes for?
There are two Senate run-off elections being held. The votes are leftovers from the November general election, when none of the candidates hit the 50 per cent threshold.
Why are they important?
Democrats need to win both of the votes to seize the Senate majority – and, with it, control of the new Congress when Biden takes office in two weeks.
Who are the candidates?
In one contest, Republican Kelly Loeffler, a 50-year-old former businesswoman who was appointed to the Senate less than a year ago by the state's governor, faces Democrat Raphael Warnock, 51, who serves as the senior pastor of the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr grew up and preached.
The other election pits 71-year-old former business executive David Perdue, a Republican who held his Senate seat until his term expired on Sunday, against Democrat Jon Ossoff, a former congressional aide and journalist. At just 33 years old, Mr Ossoff would be the Senate's youngest member.
When will we get the results?
We could know the winners late on Tuesday evening in the US (early Wednesday in the UK).
Trump will speak at 'Save America' rally
President Trump has confirmed he will address a rally of his supporters on Wednesday in Washington.
Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday evening that he will be speaking and is expecting a big crowd at the event, a protest against the certification by Congress of the 2020 election results.
Today's top stories
- Republicans and Democrats have gone head to head in Georgia for a vital run-off election that will determine the balance of the Senate
- Polls have closed in the vote that is exceptionally close
- Donald Trump has urged Mike Pence to block the certification of the election result in a last-minute attempt to overhaul Joe Biden's victory
- The president has confirmed he will speak at a rally in Washington DC on Wednesday in which protesters including the Proud Boys will demonstrate against the result of the November election
- Prosecutors have announced they will not charge a white police officer over the shooting of Jacob Blake, which set off violent protests in Wisconsin last summer. Mr Blake was shot seven times in the back and is now paralysed
- Nicola Sturgeon has warned Donald Trump that any visit to Scotland would violate coronavirus rules, after it was reported the president may be planning to flee the US ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration