WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday (Jan 7) hit back at assertions that a mob attack on the Capitol showed the United States to be a "banana republic".
A number of foreign critics as well as former US president George W. Bush made the analogy after rioters stirred up by President Donald Trump rampaged through a session of Congress that certified his loss to Mr Joe Biden.
"The slander reveals a faulty understanding of banana republics and of democracy in America," said the top US diplomat, a staunch Mr Trump loyalist, as two other members of the Cabinet resigned over Wednesday's violence.
"In a banana republic, mob violence determines the exercise of power. In the United States, law enforcement officials quash mob violence so that the people's representatives can exercise power in accordance with the rule of law and constitutional government," Mr Pompeo wrote on Twitter.
Mr Bush, in a statement on Wednesday, made veiled criticism of the "reckless behaviour" of members of his Republican Party in fuelling the "insurrection".
"This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic - not our democratic republic," he wrote.