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The Most Surreal Images of Trump Supporters’ Capitol Coup Attempt

Photo by Win McNamee via Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. was breached for the first time since 1814. A shocking moment, but perhaps not surprising given the dangerous dynamics that have been fueled since the 2020 presidential election: No matter how many times it’s proven to be baseless, the claim that it was “stolen” just won’t quit. That’s thanks, of course, to President Donald Trump, who waited hours to even address the fact that tens of thousands of his supporters had not only infiltrated the Capitol, but done so at the precise moment that senators were set to certify the Electoral Vote in the House and Senate. The insurrection, which has been anticipated for months, was only accelerated by the president urging his followers to head to the Capitol earlier in the day during a speech: “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.” Tellingly, the reaction—or complete lack thereof—of the relatively few law enforcement officers present couldn’t stand in starker contrast to their treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters since last summer. Meanwhile, Trump supporters roamed the Capitol with abandon, stretching their legs across Nancy Pelosi’s desk and proving that Trump’s past threat of “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” only applies to some. The journalists and photographers who’d intended to simply capture the Senate’s final tallying were left to scramble—and, in the process, document the afternoon’s surreal turn of events. Here, see how photographers risked their safety to capture this historical, astonishing event.

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Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Trump supporters backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud gather outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Trump supporters backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud gather outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Members of Congress evacuate the House Chamber as Trump supporters the president’s attempt to enter during a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.

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Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Trump supporters backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud gather atop an armored vehicle outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Trump supporters backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud gather outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.

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Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Congress members including Madeleine Dean, Democratic representative of Pennsylvania, take cover at the Capitol amid Trump supporters’ attempted coup on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Trump supporters backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud gather outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.

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Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Democratic Colorado representative Jason Crow and Democratic Pennsylvania representative Susan Wild take cover as Trump supporters disrupt the joint session of Congress certifying the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Trump supporter backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud disrupting the joint session of Congress certifying the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

A Trump supporter who backs the president’s baseless claims of election fraud carrying a Confederate flag while invading the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Trump supporters backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud breaking into the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Trump supporter backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud gather outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Trump supporters backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud encountering law enforcement officials while invading the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Law enforcement officers who appeared, but failed to threaten, Trump supporters backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

A note that Trump supporters backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud left on the desk of Nancy Pelosi on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

A Trump supporter who backs the president’s baseless claims of election fraud and invaded the Capitol reclining on the desk of Nancy Pelosi on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Law enforcement officials taking a modicum of action against Trump supporters who back the president’s baseless claims of election fraud and gathered outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

A Trump supporter backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud posing inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Law enforcement officers at the U.S. Capitol attempting to respond to the illegal invasion of Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Trump supporter backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud posing inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A scene from Trump supporters and backers of the president’s baseless claims of election fraud’s gathering outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Trump supporter who backs the president’s baseless claims of election fraud sitting in the Senate Chamber after invading the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Tear gas wafting through the U.S. Capitol after the invasion of Trump supporters backing the president’s baseless claims of election fraud on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Trump supporter who backs the president’s baseless claims of election fraud waving a flag while invading the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden calling on Trump to clear out the “mob” invading the Capitol at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on January 6, 2021.