WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — As violent protesters breached the Capitol Building Wednesday, WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller said they were enabled by “gross incompetence by law enforcement.”

Keller, who has been reporting from Washington, D.C. for the past week, said, “The local media was reporting a mounting level of law enforcement concern and concern in the mayor’s office here in Washington, about internet chatter in which white supremacist groups and others were vowing to come in for the pro-Trump demonstrations, heavily armed and look to become engaged in violence.”

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Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed barricades and confronted police outside the Capitol on Wednesday, shortly after Mr. Trump gave a speech once again falsely claiming to have won a second term.

Sessions of the House and Senate were abruptly recessed as the building was placed under lockdown.

“The Capitol – one of the most secure buildings in my experience in our country – was left us vulnerable to this terrorist assault,” Keller said. “There’s going to have to be some real explaining from all levels of law enforcement about exactly what the heck went on here.”

Keller noted that even Republicans, such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have publicly pleaded with the president get on the radio and television to ask his supporters to evacuate the Capitol Building.

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Keller said Republicans are right to be worried about what these protests could mean for the Republican Party.

“Now, with this on his record, you know, this kind of business that’s going on in the Capitol today doesn’t play well with most Americans.”

As for the process for certifying the electoral votes, the deliberations could resume as soon as the protesters have been removed. “It’ll be interesting to see how the Republicans that were lined up to lodge all these objections to the electoral vote results in a number of states choose to proceed in the wake of this. I imagine there might be an effort to get them to drop their objections so we can just wrap this up and move on,” Keller said.

Keller warned that Republicans may face difficult decisions as they will have to decide whether or not to stand up against President Trump and the protests. “Donald Trump and his pack of merry grifters are not going to go away easily. He drew 73 million votes back in November.”

President-elect Joe Biden, Keller said, struck the right tone in his address to the nation Wednesday, keeping his tone low-key and somber and sticking with his theme of bringing the country together.

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However, Keller noted, the protests have taken the focus off of “broader national traumas that our country is going through right now. There’s a little thing called the pandemic right now that is raging pretty much out of control. We’re stumbling out of the gate with the vaccination programs.”

CBSBoston.com Staff