U.S. women's national team (USWNT) star Megan Rapinoe has hit out at Donald Trump for inciting a "white supremacist mob" in last week's deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
On Wednesday, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers were certifying president-elect Joe Biden's victory over Trump in November's election. Amid the chaos five people died, including a police officer.
Trump has been heavily criticised for inciting the mob, which backed the president's false claim that the election had been stolen from him due to voter fraud.
Rapinoe has never been shy about criticising Trump and did so again in a call with reporters on Tuesday.
"Our chief political leader incited an actual, real-life murderous and deadly insurrection against his own government, against his own people, against his own party," Rapinoe said.
"The vice president of the United States was in the halls of congress, as were congresspeople and senators alike, and all the people that work in that building as well, from the staff to the Capitol Police."
Rapinoe said that the riot was not an aberration when viewed in the context of U.S. history, but rather it was in keeping with America's tradition of violence.
"To see where we've come in these four years has been devastating and hopefully the final straw for so many people to really understand that the reason that we're here is because we never have actually had a reckoning with what our country really is. This is America. Make no mistake about it," Rapinoe said.
"An unleashing of a white supremacist mob is nothing new to America as people of color, black and brown, know very well. If we do not punish this and investigate this to the fullest extent it only encourages more of this to happen."
Though there were several casualties, the incident could undoubtedly have been worse.
Some rioters were seen with zip ties that could have been used to take hostages, while video showed several in the crowd chanting they wanted to hang U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who was sheltering in the building.
"We should not underestimate what could have happened, we saw people with weapons and people with zip ties," Rapinoe said. "They put up a gallows outside the Capitol building where they were chanting to hang the vice president of the United States.
"I think that we should make no mistake about what the intent was behind it, and it was a murderous mob. Five people are dead and we can't bring them back.
"The utter bottomlessness of some of these lawmakers to continue to incite violence and still call for overturning the election when the mandate has been given by the people of the United States is just absolutely insane. They should be held accountable.
"This was about white supremacy and holding up white supremacy and I hope that we can see this and move forward with justice. I think that's the only way that that we can actually move forward."
Rapinoe has a history of criticising Trump, engaging in public back-and-forth with the American leader during the World Cup in 2019. Rapinoe eventually won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in that tournament, which the USWNT won by defeating the Netherlands 2-0 in the final.