CEOs, business groups condemn Capitol Hill protests, violence and urge peace

January 7, 2021

Capitol Hill police ‘overwhelmed’ by protests

Fox News correspondent Rich Edson on the protests at the Capitol building.

Business leaders from Wall Street to Silicon Valley joined trade groups across the nation in calling for an end to the protests and violence on Capitol Hill in response to Congress' certification process of Electoral College votes.

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The National Guard, working with local law enforcement, remained on the scene Wednesday evening.

Members of the National Guard arrive to secure the area outside the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

FOX Business has more on the outpouring from America's business leaders.

“I strongly condemn the violence in our nation’s capital. This is not who we are as a people or a country. We are better than this," JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon wrote in a statement Wednesday.

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"Our elected leaders have a responsibility to call for an end to the violence, accept the results, and, as our democracy has for hundreds of years, support the peaceful transition of power. Now is the time to come together to strengthen our exceptional union.”

IBM's Arvind Krishna issued a similar call, condemning the "unprecedented lawlessness."

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"These actions have no place in our society and they must stop so our system of democracy can work," Krishna tweeted.

Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy said that 95% of Americans are "normal" and that its the "extreme right" and "extreme left" that "suck."

"Both sides filled with lunatics, crazies and morons," Portnoy added. "And almost all politicians are hypocrites who manipulate these idiots for personal gain."


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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said our leaders "must call for peace and unity now," noting there is "no room for violence in our democracy"

Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, called the events “shocking and scary for all of us” in an email to employees that was obtained by The New York Times.

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“The lawlessness and violence occurring on Capitol Hill today is the antithesis of democracy and we strongly condemn it,” Pichai said.


The Business Roundtable, a trade group representing 15 million U.S. employees and $7 trillion in U.S. revenues led by Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, called the protests "the result of unlawful efforts to overturn the legitimate results of a democratic election," and urged elected officials, including President Trump, to "put an end to the chaos and to facilitate the peaceful transition of power."

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue said the "attacks against our nation’s Capitol Building and our democracy" must end, urging Congress to gather again Wednesday evening to conclude their "Constitutional responsibility to accept the report of the Electoral College." Donahue added that the Chamber of Commerce extends its "respect and appreciation to all of the law enforcement officials who are protecting our government, our elected officials and our fellow citizens.”

Meanwhile, the National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons, whose organization represents more than 12.1 million manufacturing workers and contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, released a lengthy statement blasting President Trump for "adding fuel to the distrust that has enflamed violent anger" and called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to "preserve democracy."

"This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous," Timmons said. "This is sedition and should be treated as such."

Timmons added that any elected leader defending Trump's actions are "violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy" and that anyone "indulging conspiracy theories to raise campaign dollars is complicit."

“This is not the vision of America that manufacturers believe in and work so hard to defend," the statement continued. "Across America today, millions of manufacturing workers are helping our nation fight the deadly pandemic that has already taken hundreds of thousands of lives. We are trying to rebuild an economy and save and rebuild lives. But none of that will matter if our leaders refuse to fend off this attack on America and our democracy—because our very system of government, which underpins our very way of life, will crumble.”


Protesters from a pro-Trump rally — where President Trump spoke outside the White House – descended on the Capitol Wednesday to protest the certification of Electoral College results, before clashing with police.

Trump supporters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The certification process was then halted after protesters stormed the Capitol Building, prompting a lockdown of Congress and evacuation of lawmakers. Protesters reportedly smashed glass doors and authorities drew their weapons at one door. One individual has also reportedly died after being shot inside the Capitol.

President Trump issued a taped video statement, telling his supporters to "go home now" and calling for peace.

"We have to have peace, we have to have law and order we have to respect our great people in law and order," Trump said. "We don't want anyone hurt."

However, Trump also continued his repeated unsubstantiated claim that the election was "stolen." The message has since been flagged by Twitter as 'disputed' and cannot be replied to, retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence. Meanwhile, Facebook has removed the video from its platform altogether as part of "appropriate emergency measures."

"We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence," Facebook's vice president of Integrity, Guy Rosen, tweeted.

The Capitol Building has been secured and cleared of protesters. Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., said Congress will "continue the business of certifying the electoral college votes" Wednesday evening.

A curfew by Virginia Gov. Ralp Northam is now in effect in the cities of Alexandria and Arlington until 6 AM Thursday with "limited exceptions." Anyone who doesn’t comply will be arrested. In addition, the National Guard has been deployed and a state of emergency has been issued as officials continue to respond to the situation.

Fox News' Danielle Wallace and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

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