Electoral College protesters storm U.S. Capitol building

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Wyoming and Teton County leaders spoke out against the violent mob that forced its way into the building.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., went on national television repeatedly on Wednesday to condemn what she described as “a violent mob assault” on the U.S. Capitol, after protesters supporting President Trump breached the Capitol building, delaying Congress’ confirmation of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.

“There is no question that the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob. He lit the flame. This is what America is not,” she told Fox News. “The mob will not prevail.”

Cheney, a Teton County resident and leader of GOP messaging in the House as its third-ranking Republican, also reproached Trump after the president posted a video statement on Twitter calling for “peace” while repeating his claim that the election was “stolen” and telling the crowd that stormed the U.S. Capitol “we love you.”

“The president is abusing the trust of the American people and abusing the trust of the people who supported him,” Cheney said.

Earlier Wednesday, newly seated U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., questioned the source of the mob.

“I hope it’s not Trump supporters that are involved in the mayhem,” Lummis told Capitol Hill reporters as politicians were being escorted to a safe location, according to a pool report. “In my previous experience with these Trump supporters, they have been peaceful demonstrators, happy people, very patriotic, pro-America, and I feel like other forces like Antifa were advocating violence. So if now that has changed, I will be heartbroken.”

As the day unfolded, heartbreak was expressed across the aisle among local elected officials.

“It’s a very sad state of affairs when a government can’t do its business without fear of attack,” said Sen. Mike Gierau, a Democrat representing Teton County in the state Legislature. The unrest, he believes, will spell the end of citizens’ free access to visit the capital.

“That ended today,” Gierau said.

And for people’s state capitals as well, he warned.

“Whenever we get back to Cheyenne it will probably never be the same there, too.”

Here’s is more of what local, state and federal leaders had to say:

“This violence and destruction have no place in our republic. It must end now.”

– U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. (Twitter)

"Call it what it is: An attack on the Capitol is an attack on democracy. Today we are trying to use the democratic process to address grievances. This violence inhibits our ability to do that. Violent protests were unacceptable this summer and are unacceptable now."

– U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo. (Twitter) 

"Today's events at the Capitol were heartbreaking. We have deep political differences in this country, but we don't resolve them with mob violence. Our Republic has survived for more than 240 years out of a fidelity to the Constitution and a recognition of the peaceful transfer of power. My colleagues in Congress and I are resilient and we have a bipartisan commitment to protecting and defending the rule of law. We will uphold our Oath and stand up for the principles that have made our country the greatest and most exceptional nation in the history of mankind."

– Wyoming U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (via email correspondence with Jackson Hole News&Guide) 

“We live in a Democratic Republic to allow for bloodless non-violent transfers of power using free and fair elections to determine who is in power. ... Donald Trump does not believe in the process and actually told his rally to ‘walk down to the capitol’ and ‘you have to show strength and have to be strong’. And then released a statement telling them he ‘loves them’ after they break in and occupy the building. He needs to be held accountable for his actions. This violence is on him.”

– State Rep. Michael Yin, D-Teton (Facebook)

“We have a new president coming in on Jan. 20. His name is Joe Biden and his vice president’s name is Kamala Harris, and that’s that. This is how democracy works and we all need to respect it. We can disagree with outcomes. We can protest outcomes. We can even be pissed off about outcomes. We still have to accept outcomes.”

– Teton County Commissioner Mark Barron (Interview)

“I’m horrified by what happened today. That is not representative of a strong democracy.”

– Teton County GOP Chair Alex Muromcew (Interview)

“I guess taking down Trump’s portrait doesn’t look any worse in hindsight. This is outrageous. But more than anything, it’s sad. It’s a sad day for our country.”

– Former Jackson Mayor Pete Muldoon (Facebook)

— Billy Arnold, Jennifer Dorsey, Cindy Harger, Rebecca Huntington, Emily Mieure and Timothy J. Woods contributed to this report.

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