Watch the moment House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claiming she would 'punch' Donald Trump
Never-before-seen video footage played on Thursday by the House January 6 committee has revealed the real-time reactions and interactions of some of the most powerful members of Congress inside the Capitol building during the January 6 storm.
In a clip that aired on CNN, Pelosi was told that the Secret Service had dissuaded Trump from going to the Capitol.
“If he comes, I’m gonna punch him out,” Pelosi responded.
“I’ve been waiting for this. For trespassing on the Capitol grounds, I’m gonna punch him out. And I’m gonna go to jail, and I’m gonna be happy.”
The recordings offer a rare glimpse into the real-time reactions of some Congress members as they scrambled to drum up support from all parts of the government, including from agencies seemingly ill prepared for the chaos, and vented anger over a president whose conduct they felt had endangered their lives.
In the videos, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer negotiate with governors and defence officials to try to get the National Guard to the Capitol as police were being brutally beaten outside the building.
The footage, recorded by Ms Pelosi's daughter, Alexandra, a documentary filmmaker, was shown during the committee's tenth hearing as an illustration of the president's inaction in the face of grave danger posed by the rioters to the lawmakers forced into hiding inside.
“As the president watched the bloody attack unfold on Fox News from his dining room, members of Congress and other government officials stepped into the gigantic leadership void created by the president's chilling and steady passivity that day,” said Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a committee member.
On that day, though, the then-Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Ms Pelosi sat shoulder-to-shoulder on the couch and laid bare their frustrations with the country's top law enforcement official.
“They're breaking the law in many different ways,” Ms Pelosi said. “And quite frankly, much of it at the instigation of the president of the United States.”
Mr Schumer weighed in too, shaking his head to the side for emphasis: “Yeah, why don't you get the president to tell them to leave the Capitol, Mr. Attorney General, in your law enforcement responsibility? A public statement they should all leave.”
It wasn't until the evening that the Capitol would be cleared and work would resume. The news that Congress would be able to reconvene to finish its work in certifying the election results was delivered to the congressional leaders not by Trump but by Vice President Mike Pence.
After a very bad day, Mr Schumer had two words: “Good news.”
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