Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf denounced the violet mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday at the outset of of his Friday briefing onin the state.
“The assault on the United States Capitol was traumatic for all of us, for all Americans,” he said. All involved in inciting the incident “should be ashamed.”
The violent riots Wednesday after President Trump’s speech at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C. disrupted a joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes and affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
In his update Friday, Wolf criticized people who have called Pennsylvania’s election results into question, saying officials have “the responsibility to speak the truth.”
“The truth is that Pennsylvania and every state in this nation had fair and secure elections in November. There was no fraud; there was no illegal activity. Now, some people might not like the outcomes of those elections, but the fact is that the certified results of every race here in Pennsylvania are accurate,” he said. Mr. Biden topped the president in Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes, flipping the state Mr. Trump had won by more than 44,000 votes in 2016.
Wolf called out Republican politicians who he said “willfully and purposefully spread conspiracy and disinformation” in the wake of the November election.
“They lied to their constituents, they misled the public about the safety and security about our electoral process, and this behavior is unacceptable and it has to stop,” he said. “All politicians have a responsibility to all Americans to stand up and to tell the truth.”
Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry, joined by fellow Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, objected to the count of the state’s certified votes in Congress during the joint session, which resumed following the disruption and ultimately formalized Mr. Biden’s win in the early morning hours Thursday. Though the objection failed in both chambers and was denounced by Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, also a Republican, eight of the nine Republican representatives from Pennsylvania voted in favor.
On Friday, Wolf also refused to call for the resignation of Republican state Senator Doug Mastriano, who was in Washington to attend the rally Wednesday. Wolf said resigning was the senator’s decision.
“He should be held accountable, and I think the voters should do that,” Wolf said in response to a reporter’s question.
Wolf appeared with state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine for theupdate Friday, after more than 10,000 new cases and 215 coronavirus deaths were reported in the state.
More than 700,000 cases have been reported across Pennsylvania, according to its health department. There are 5,491 people across the state hospitalized with COVID-19 infections. Of those, 1,113 patients are in the intensive care unit.
The statewide positivity rate for the week of December 25-31 stood at 15%.