(Image: Supplied)

The Capitol building in Washington was breached for the first time since 1814 -- that time by British soldiers, this time by a mob of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, whipped to a frenzy by constant false claims that his re-election had been stolen from him. The soft light of dusk hit wreaths of tear gas in America's capital as Australia woke up this morning.

As the hours passed, people began to wonder, where is Prime Minister Scott Morrison? There was no statement from him, nor from Foreign Minister Marise Payne. Eventually, after what felt like interminable silence, he managed a fairly tepid tweet at 9.40am:

Very distressing scenes at the US Congress. We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition.