As protesters stormed and vandalized the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, President Donald Trump released a statement telling them to go home.
The pro-Trump mob invaded the Capitol as Congress was in the process of certifying Electoral College votes and formalizing Democrat Joe Biden's convincing victory.
In a video message posted to his Twitter account, which can be viewed below, Trump called for de-escalation but nonetheless repeatedly insisted that the 2020 presidential race was stolen by Biden and the Democratic Party.
"We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side.""But you have to go home now," Trump continued, telling his supporters to stand down and avoid conflict with law enforcement. He stressed that "we don't want anybody hurt."
Trump reiterated that victory in the presidential race was taken away from him, but warned his supporters against playing into the hands of those who conspired to install Biden.
"There's never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us; from me, from you, from our country," he said, insisting that "this was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people."
"We love you, you're very special," Trump told the protesters, before once again asking them to remain calm.
"I know how you feel, but go home," the commander-in-chief said.
Biden won both the popular vote and the Electoral College, but Trump has yet to concede the race.
Trump has spent weeks delegitimizing his opponent's victory, launching legal challenges, promoting debunked conspiracy theories and putting pressure on Republican lawmakers to overturn the results.
Interestingly, Twitter flagged Trump's video message for violating its terms of service and spreading misleading information. The tweet cannot be liked, shared, or replied to.Earlier in the day, as the rioters clashed with police outside the Capitol building, Trump took aim at Vice President Mike Pence. In a tweet, he accused Pence of lacking "courage" to reject Electoral College votes and block Biden from being inaugurated.
Earlier this week, Pence indicated that he welcomes other Republicans' attempts to object to the certification, but on Wednesday he clarified that the U.S. Constitution does not allow him to intervene in the democratic process in any way.
As protests and clashes between pro-Trump rioters and security forces erupted, Pence and Sen. Chuck Grassley, the president pro-tempore of the Senate, were escorted to a secure location.
Update: Twitter has removed Trump's video message. Per Forbes, Facebook has done the same.