Slamming President Donald Trump for inciting violence at the US Capitol, all four living former US presidents -- Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter -- have condemned the actions of pro-Trump rioters and underlined the need for a peaceful transfer of power.
The statement of Obama and three former presidents came hours after thousands of pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday stormed the US Capitol, interrupting a joint session of Congress where lawmakers were set to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win.
In a statement, former US President George W Bush said he and the former First Lady watched the scenes of "mayhem unfolding at the seat of our nation's government in disbelief and dismay".
According to former US President Bill Clinton, the "unprecedented assault on our Capitol, our Constitution, and our country" was fuelled by more than four years of "poison politics" spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in the system and "pitting Americans against one another".
Carter, also a Democrat, said he was "troubled" by the day's events in the US Capitol.
"This is a national tragedy and is not who we are as a nation," he said. "Having observed elections in troubled democracies worldwide, I know that we the people can unite to walk back from this precipice to peacefully uphold the laws of our nation, and we must.