Bottles thrown during Melbourne Victory vs Melbourne City W-League match



Melbourne City’s remarkable W-League turnaround against Melbourne Victory has been overshadowed by a group of Victory fans hurling bottles and abuse at City and Matildas goalkeeper Teagan Micah.

Play had to be stopped for several minutes late in Sunday’s game at Epping Stadium as referee Danielle Anderson, City captain Emma Checker and Victory skipper Angela Beard attempted to calm the crowd down.

It took the gloss off City’s thrilling 3-2 win, which was a remarkable turnaround from their 6-0 loss to the same team a week earlier.

“The behaviour of the fans at the match was not acceptable,” Micah said on Twitter after the match.

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“I am all for supporting football and the women’s game.

“However, it is simply unacceptable to have glass bottles thrown at me.

“The ground officials and security must do better to protect us.

City coach Rado Vidosic condemned the behaviour and lauded the referee’s swift action.

“Come here, support your team, that’s brilliant … but to throw things at a goalkeeper, a female goalkeeper — and she’s a Matilda — I don’t think that’s the right way of dealing with the situation,” he told reporters.

“… [Micah’s] OK. She was a little bit shaken. When someone starts throwing bottles at you, obviously it’s not nice.

“This game is televised to America, to China and some other countries and for that to be seen overseas, it just doesn’t paint a good picture.”

Victory counterpart Jeff Hopkins slammed the “unacceptable” behaviour.

“Hopefully we’ll deal with that as a club and make sure that doesn’t happen again. It’s not a good look at all,” Hopkins said.

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Professional Footballers Australia condemned the incident and welcomed the league’s commitment to a full investigation.

“The players, like all workers, have a basic right to safely undertake their profession,” PFA co-chief executive Kathryn Gill said.

The game itself was a goal-filled thriller, with Micah making five superb saves.

City’s fringe Matilda Alex Chidiac scored in the 22nd minute, with Victory defender Claudia Bunge handing City another with an own goal three minutes later.

But two spectacular goals — a 47th-minute free kick from MelindaJ Barbieri and Catherine Zimmerman’s long-range belter in the 51st — drew Victory level.

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Chidiac then slipped a ball through for City teammate Harriet Withers to score the winner in the 86th minute.

The result was made all the more impressive by the fact the week prior Victory smashed the reigning premiers 6-0 at CB Smith Reserve.

Later on Sunday evening, Newcastle and Brisbane rounded out the weekend’s action with a 1-1 draw.

Tara Andrews headed Newcastle to the lead in the 16th minute before Matildas winger Emily Gielnik equalised with her first goal of the season in the 54th.

Earlier in the round, Mackenzie Hawksby and Ellie Brush scored as Sydney FC took outright top spot by beating Western Sydney 2-0 on Saturday.

On Thursday, Emily Condon scored the winner as Adelaide beat Perth 2-1.

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Match tailor-made for Lyon to spin Australia to victory on final day


Lyon has had to take a back seat this summer with Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood claiming the lion’s share of spoils with the ball, but the situation is tailor-made for a spinner to cash in.

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“I thought he bowled really well in the first innings without luck,” coach Justin Langer said on Sunday night. “He might get a bit more luck in the second dig. I’d be surprised if Nathan doesn’t play a big part tomorrow.”

India’s assignment is momentous. The highest successful fourth-innings total at the SCG was 288 by Australia in 2006 when Ricky Ponting scored the second of twin tons.

The tourists began confidently, with Shubman Gill, one of the finds of their tour, forming another productive opening partnership with the more decorated Rohit Sharma. The pair put on 71 runs in 22 overs on Sunday afternoon until the re-introduction of Hazlewood 45 minutes from stumps delivered immediate dividends, with Gill marched for 31 when Hot Spot confirmed an edge to Tim Paine.

Not to be outdone, Cummins also chimed in with another key breakthrough, removing an attacking Rohit for 52, caught at fine-leg by Mitchell Starc.

The fourth day of the match had begun with a familiar sight — batting kindred spirits Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne treating the oval as their own personal playground.

They batted with the dual purpose of widening the Australian lead and increasing the wear and tear of a tiring Indian attack missing Jadeja, hurt the previous day by a ball from Starc.

There was also the opportunity for individual gain for the pair, with Labuschagne out to go all the way after falling nine runs short of a hundred in the first innings and Smith’s sights on back-to-back tons after his 131 on Friday.

In the end, the personal milestones eluded both. Labuschagne was given a life on 47 when Hanuma Vihari dropped a stone-cold sitter at square leg but ran out of luck on 73 when he gloved Jasprit Bumrah down the leg side and was caught by stand-in wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

Smith fell for the third time in the series to Ravi Ashwin, trapped lbw for 81. The former captain was given not out on the field by umpire Paul Reiffel when rapped on the pad trying to prod a ball from Ashwin to the off side. But he left looking at the big screen and shaking his head as, on review, the ball-tracker found the delivery was just hitting in line with leg stump, forcing the decision to be overturned.

Green, too, for just a moment appeared as if he might bludgeon his way to a maiden Test century, belting Shiraj back over his head for two sixes and smacking an exasperated Bumrah to the second tier of the stands with another.

The all-rounder was held up as umpires, ground officials and police acted on India’s report of abuse from the crowd, but ultimately got stopped short of a ton when he attempted another heave off Bumrah but clipped the ball with the bottom of his bat and was caught behind by Saha.

With the Green show over, captain Tim Paine (39 not out) promptly declared Australia’s second innings at 6-312 at tea, giving his team five sessions to bowl out India.

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FA Cup: Scott McTominay’s Solitary Goal Leads Manchester United To Victory In 3rd Round





Scott McTominay celebrated captaining Manchester United for the first time by scoring the only goal in a 1-0 FA Cup third-round victory against Watford on Saturday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made nine changes to his team, who could go top of the Premier League on Tuesday, when they take on Burnley.

The home side started strongly at an empty Old Trafford, with Daniel James impressive on the left side of the attack, and were rewarded when McTominay gave them the lead in the fifth minute.

The Scotland international, who recently scored two early goals against Leeds, headed downwards from an Alex Telles corner and the ball went in off the post.

United were largely in control and Juan Mata saw an effort saved following a fluent team move and sumptuous flick by Donny van de Beek.

But McTominay’s header proved the only goal of a first half in which Watford threatened intermittently. Adam Masina’s effort was blocked by a mixture of United goalkeeper Dean Henderson and Axel Tuanzebe.

The opening period ended with United defender Eric Bailly being replaced by Harry Maguire after he was clattered by team-mate Henderson.

The second half at Old Trafford was dull and uneventful, with Watford failing to create clear-cut chances to threaten.

Solskjaer threw on Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial with just over 20 minutes to go but United were unable to extend their lead.

“The most important thing in the cup is that you go through, so that will make everyone happy, but the first 15-20 minutes I think were the highlights of our game, Solskjaer told the BBC.

“I think we played some very good stuff, created chances and then we let them back into the game but we are through.”

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He said the multiple changes allowed his fringe players to make a case for themselves and achieve match fitness.

“We will need all of them over the season and that was part of the reason we made changes,” he added.

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Advantage Melbourne Victory as Melbourne City regroups ahead of derby


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Jeff Hopkins, Victory’s W-League coach, has also had to recruit a number of players but has been able to assemble his squad earlier and develop a cohesion that Vidosic, who has also been hindered by injuries to key players like captain Emma Checker, has not.

Vidosic has also not been able to select one of his major signings, Alex Chidiac, because she has been in quarantine following her return from Spain, where she played for Atletico Madrid.

Chidiac had her first training session on Saturday and Vidosic says he will wait to see how she pulls up before deciding whether she can play some part in Sunday’s derby.

Hopkins took plenty of heart from his team’s first game of the season – a goalless draw with star-studded Brisbane – in which Victory fielded five debutants, including goalkeeper Gaby Garton, who made several saves to bolster her confidence with a clean sheet.

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Other fresh faces were Claudia Bunge and Kayla Morrison, Victory’s centre-back pairing, and Natalie Tathem and Catherine Zimmerman.

All will be under consideration for Sunday’s game – which has had to be switched from its intended venue at Dandenong City’s ground to CB Smith Reserve in Fawkner – save for the unfortunate Tathem, who suffered a knee injury and will be out for the season.

Hopkins says he was delighted with the way his side played during the game with Roar.

“We finished the game off really well. It was a tough start for us, and the girls have come out of the game with a fair bit of confidence after the second half performance,” Hopkins said.

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“They [City] are definitely not the team they were last year, but I have a lot of time and respect for Rado. We have seen them from four to five weeks ago, and from where they were then to where they are now, they are making a real progression every week.

“They will be a much easier team to play against than they were last year, but it will still be a tough ask for us.”

The coach believes that Victory’s strength is in the midfield and up front.

“There’s a number of areas we think where we are strong, and looking at our strengths and matching against them, then I think our front three especially, we can cause them a number of problems,” Hopkins said.

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“Them playing with a back three will be an advantage to us, maybe trying to isolate certain players in those one v one situations. I see that being a real strength for us this season, not just against City but all teams.”

He is also confident that Victory’s quick players will cause problems for a City defence that includes several new faces still trying to adapt to each other.

“We have got players in terms of pace, we are looking at Zimmerman, Lisa De Vanna – I don’t think there’s many with the pace that she’s got – so that will definitely be one area,” he said.

Veteran De Vanna – a former title winner with City in the club’s first ever W-League season – needs no extra motivation for such a fixture.

“She gets herself up for every game. That’s why we have brought her here. But it’s definitely a special game playing against City and she will bring what she normally brings and maybe a little bit more for the derby game,” he said.

Vidosic admits that re-fashioning a City team lacking so many established stars – including regular Matildas starters like Steph Catley, goalkeeper Lydia Williams and full-back Ellie Carpenter – is perhaps the most challenging assignment of his long career in the game.

He says, however, that his team should not be judged on the early rounds, while Chidiac is in quarantine, Checker out injured and many of his players from NPL Victoria getting back up to speed, having not played for more than a year, since the 2019 NPLW season ended.

“We just need to be patient and reasonable about how the situation is at the moment … once we reach round four or five we can be judged,” Vidosic said.

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Wenzel-Halls keen to hurt Victory again


Roar attacker Dylan Wenzel-Halls will strive for back-to-back A-League goals for the first time in almost two years when Brisbane host Melbourne Victory at Dolphin Stadium on Sunday.

The teams also met last Saturday at AAMI Park, where livewire Wenzel-Halls scored in his side’s 3-1 win.

The goal was Wenzel-Halls first of the season and his eighth in 43 A-League appearances.

The 23-year-old striker is desperate to add goal-scoring consistency to his constant whole-hearted performances.

Since goals against Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers in February-March 2019, Wenzel-Halls hasn’t scored in consecutive A-League matches.

“Hopefully I can score a few more and that can open the floodgates,” he said.

“I’m always trying to do my extras and trying to be better.

“You have your bad days and you have your days where it doesn’t seem to work for you or go for you, but I always try to work hard, and that’s the prerequisite really.

“If I can work hard for the team, the other things will hopefully come.”

Wenzel-Halls was grateful for the ongoing support of Roar coach Warren Moon and teammate Scott McDonald.

“The gaffer (Moon) has really put a lot of belief in me and given me the belief that I need and that I can hopefully thrive off as well,” he said.

“Scotty’s done everything you’d want to do. He’s played for a big club like Celtic, he’s played for his country, he’s played in the Champions League … that’s what every young player dreams of doing, having a career like he’s had.

“To learn off someone like him is phenomenal. I try to soak it all up really.”



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Live updates January 8, 2021: US faces 13 more days of Trump; Trump banned from Facebook until end of presidency; Congress confirms Biden’s victory; Probe into Capitol breach; UK strain of coronavirus confirmed in Queensland


A growing number of lawmakers – including from Democratic leadership – are calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office either through impeachment or the 25th Amendment to the Constitution after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.

The calls have come largely from Democrats so far, but at least one congressional Republican has joined in.

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a frequent critic of the President, has called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked, saying in a video message on Thursday, “the President must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily.”

The top Democrat in the Senate has also embraced the 25th Amendment push.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer put out a statement on Thursday denouncing the “insurrection” at the Capitol “incited by the President,” and saying, “This president should not hold office one day longer.”

“The quickest and most effective way – it can be done today – to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,” he said in the statement.

Invoking the 25th Amendment would require Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of the Cabinet to vote to remove Trump from office due to his inability to “discharge the powers and duties of his office” – an unprecedented step.

January 20, it is highly unlikely that there would be adequate time or political will in Congress for any kind of impeachment effort.

Any 25th Amendment push is also unlikely to come to fruition with little time left before Biden’s inauguration.

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Ryan Shotton starts training with Victory teammates


FORMER English Premier League defender Ryan Shotton is out of quarantine but won’t play for Melbourne Victory in their return bout against Brisbane Roar on Sunday.

Having been beaten by the Roar 3-1 last Saturday at AAMI Park, the Victory get an immediate shot at revenge this weekend when they meet the Queenslanders at Dolphin Stadium.

Shotton’s experience at the back would have come in handy after the Roar exposed some first-up deficiencies in the Victory’s defence.

But the 32-year-old former Stoke, Derby, Birmingham and Middlesbrough defender ruled himself out after a sometimes difficult hotel quarantine stay in Sydney.

“I want to make sure that I’m fully 100 per cent ready to come in and show everything that I’ve got,” Shotton said.

“I’m trying to get to know the lads and get up to scratch as quick as I can, but I’m still a few days off that.”

Shotton urged the Victory to “pay them back” on Sunday.

“Unfortunately I can’t do anything for them but I’ll be encouraging and doing anything I can on the (training) pitch until then that can help,” he said.

The Victory will also be without New Zealand international Marco Rojas, who injured his hamstring in the loss to the Roar.

Victory coach Grant Brebner said: “Marco has been cleared of any serious damage but as a precaution he won’t travel with the team to play Brisbane Roar this Sunday.

“He does have some tightness in his hamstring which we’ll continue to monitor, and barring any setbacks we expect he will be available to play against Adelaide United (on January 23).”



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Congress affirms Joe Biden’s election victory after Capitol Hill riots


Congress has formally affirmed President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 victory, completing a final step in the electoral process after a mob incited by President Donald Trump breached the US Capitol and forced an evacuation.

Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the count conducted by a joint session of Congress, announced that Biden had won the Electoral College vote hours after the House and Senate easily defeated Republican objections lodged against the votes sent by two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Trump’s political political adviser Dan Scavino tweeted a statement on the president’s behalf after his Twitter account was suspended, pledging an “orderly transition of power” despite not agreeing with the outcome.

It is the first time Trump acknowledged defeat in the November 3 election.

Donald Trump has conceded after congress formally affirmed Joe Biden as US President-elect. (AP)

“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,” Trump said.

“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. 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!”

The late-night session was anything but the normal routine for counting Electoral College votes, after proceedings were halted for more than five hours while lawmakers were forced into lockdown by pro-Trump rioters that overran US Capitol Police.

But lawmakers vowed to finish what they had started, and the Senate reconvened just after 8 pm local time, nearly six hours after it abruptly recessed.

A bid to overturn US President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory has been rejected. (9News)

“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win,” Pence said as the Senate session resumed following the evacuations of the complex.

“As we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy, even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism in this Capitol.”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has pushed back against Trump’s effort to use the joint session to overturn the election results, said that Congress has “faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today.”

“They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed,” the Kentucky Republican

As they reconvened, Democrats and some Republicans condemned Trump’s rhetoric in the lead-up to Wednesday’s session, saying he deserved some of the blame for inciting the pro-Trump rioters who stormed into the Capitol.

“This mob was a good part President Trump’s doing, incited by his words, his lies,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

US Vice President Mike Pence has slammed the protesters in Washington. (AP)

“Today’s events almost certainly would not have happened without him.”

The Senate voted 93 to 6 to dismiss the objection raised by Republicans to Arizona’s results, and 92 to 7 to reject the objection to Pennsylvania.

In the House, a majority of Republicans voted to object to the results, but they were still soundly rejected, 303 to 121 for Arizona and 282 to 138 for Pennsylvania, with all Democrats in opposition. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was among the House Republicans to vote to reject the two states’ results.

The riots prompted several Senate Republicans who had planned to object to decide they would no longer do so.

“I think today changed things drastically,” said Senator Mike Braun, an Indiana Republican who was one of the objectors.

Calm after the storm: Inside the riots at the US Capitol

“Whatever point you made before that should suffice. (Let’s) get this ugly day behind us.”

Senator Kelly Loeffler, the Georgia Republican who lost her Senate race on Tuesday, said she had prepared to object to her home state’s presidential election results, but took a different course after the riots.

“The violence, the lawlessness and siege of the halls of Congress are abhorrent and stand as a direct attack on what my objection was intended to protect, the sanctity of the American democratic process,” Loeffler said.

The vote count continues as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence officiate a joint session of the House and Senate at the Capitol. (AP)

Another two Republicans who planned to object, Senators Steve Daines of Montana and James Lankford of Oklahoma, released a joint statement saying they were dropping their objections.

“We now need the entire Congress to come together and vote to certify the election results,” the senators said.

Not all Republicans dropped their objections.

This image from earlier in the day shows the extent of the protest, with thousands packed around the White House in a show of support for President Donald Trump. (AP)

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas stood by his Arizona objection that preceded the rioting, while Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who was the first Republican senator to announce plans to object, condemned the violence but argued that the Senate floor was the proper venue to debate the allegations surrounding the election.

He joined an objection put forward by GOP Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, forcing the chambers to split for a second round of debate and votes.

Other Republicans who voted to object to the Arizona results included Sens. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Roger Marshall of Kansas, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Cruz.

Senators Rick Scott of Florida and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming voted to object to Pennsylvania, while Kennedy voted to certify in that state.

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Ossoff scores victory over Perdue in Senate runoff



Democrats’ twin victories in Georgia have huge implications for President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda, as he will not be forced to navigate a Republican Senate and negotiate with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during the opening years of his administration.

The Georgia results also represent a triumphant coda for Democrats’ 2020 campaign season, which began last year with high hopes for wresting back control of the Senate.

Instead, Democratic candidates fell short in many battlegrounds across the country, while the races for Georgia’s two Senate seats proceeded to runoffs after no candidate earned more than 50 percent of the vote in the November election.

In that election, Perdue — a former business executive and first-term senator — narrowly missed the 50 percent threshold to win reelection outright, but still ran roughly 88,000 votes ahead of Ossoff.

Since then, the two candidates have been locked in a competitive one-on-one contest, with Ossoff repeatedly attacking Perdue over the timing of his stock trades amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ossoff leveled especially fierce criticism during an October debate, prompting Perdue to skip a subsequent televised forum in December.

For his part, Perdue frequently pointed to the fact that he earned tens of thousands of more votes than Ossoff in the November, and accused his opponent of being a “trust fund baby” with “scandalous ties” to foreign powers.

In recent weeks, however, Perdue’s reelection battle had become increasingly entangled with President Donald Trump’s own effort to reverse the outcome of the 2020 White House race.

The president’s particular interest in overturning the election results in Georgia, where he lost to Biden, complicated campaigning for Loeffler and Perdue — who both clung to Trump as he attacked Gov. Brian Kemp and other Republican state officials.

The two candidates had sought at once to defend the president’s election fraud allegations while also imploring Republican voters to return to the polls in January for their runoff races.

Perdue was also quick to express support for Trump’s bid to boost coronavirus stimulus checks to $2,000, a last-minute demand by the president that broke with the public posture of most Senate Republicans.

But after McConnell blocked the proposal, Ossoff and Warnock began campaigning on the increased payments.

More recently, the runoff races had been rocked by news reports of a call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, during which the president pressured the state’s top elections official to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory.

GOP lawmakers and party officials had grown increasingly anxious that Trump’s rhetoric aimed at sowing doubt about Georgia’s election processes could cost Republicans the Senate.

And in the final days before the election, Perdue was forced to abandon the campaign trail when he began quarantining after coming into close contact with an individual who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Ossoff, at 33, is the youngest Democrat elected to the Senate since Biden in 1972.

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Donald Trump supporters storm US Capitol in protest over Joe Biden election victory


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iolent clashes have broken out between Donald Trump supporters and police, sending the US Capitol building into lockdown.

Crowds protesting Joe Biden’s victory in November’s presidential elections breached security barricades around the building in Washington DC where politicians had met to vote on the Democrat’s victory.

The skirmishes occurred outside in the very spot where President-elect Biden will be inaugurated in just two weeks.

Protesters tore down metal barriers at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear.

Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back.

Some in the crowd were shouting “traitors” as officers tried to block their path.

A suspicious package was also reported in the area, Capitol Police said.

The heated confrontations came just shortly after Mr Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud at a rally near the White House on Wednesday ahead of Congress’ vote.

“We will not let them silence your voices,” the incumbent president told the protesters, who had lined up before sunrise to get a prime position to hear him speak. “We will never give up”.

Mr Biden, who won the Electoral College 306-232, is to be inaugurated on January 20.

But Mr Trump has vowed to “never concede” and earlier urged the massive crowd to march to the Capitol.

In response to the chaos later in the day, he tweeted: “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

However, the situation swiftly became far from peaceful amid reports of an armed standoff at the entrance to the House chamber, with lawmakers stuck inside.

Members of Congress were instructed to put on gas masks after tear gas was dispersed in a bid to quell the clashes.

But after protesters stormed into the building, politicians, including Vice President Mike Pence, were evacuated.

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