WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman David Kustoff was inside the Capitol Wednesday as thousands of pro-Trump supporters stormed the building.
“This was a mob,” Kustoff said. “A protest that threatened our democracy. It was really an assault on democracy.”
Kustoff said he was on the floor of the House of Representatives in the chamber with a good number of fellow members.
“We could hear noises from outside the entry to the House of Representatives,” he said. “Was very impressed with the reactions and really the whole role of the Capitol Police.”
While in a secure location, chaos filled Capitol Hill. Kustoff says the police acted swiftly in a situation he never could have imagined would happen.
“I was in the secure location with other congressmen for several hours after the attack by the mob,” he said. “I was impressed when the Capitol was secured. The police did a good job here. Law enforcement and the national guard making sure that the capitol was secure.”
These efforts couldn’t avoid the death of a woman who was shot inside the Capitol. Kustoff says this was “senseless”
“Make no mistake, what happened today, while we encourage protestors,” he said. “They’ve got to be peaceful. These weren’t protestors. It was a mob.”
Kustoff says the Electoral College vote count will continue, maybe even into the morning.
“We’re gonna come back,” he said. “We’ll debate later this evening and into the morning. I think it’s important that we show the American people that we can continue on. That we’re not going to be intimated by mob.”
Kustoff says Wednesday’s events are a sad day in this country’s history but it will grow stronger.
“We’ll get past this,” he said. “We’ll grow stronger form this. But today really hurts.”
Other Tennessee lawmakers express their feelings on social media.
Senator Marsha Blackburn tweeted against those who were a part of the attack, saying in part, “These actions at the US Capital by protestors are truly despicable and unacceptable. While I am safe and sheltering in place, these protests are prohibiting us from doing our constitutional duty. I condemn them in the strongest possible terms. We are a nation of laws”.
The actions Blackburn referenced included the breaking of windows and according to the Associated Press, the use of “chemical irritants” on the Capitol. This led to the shooting and death of a woman inside the Capitol.
Senator-elect Bill Hagerty tweeted that the actions on display were not peaceful.
“I have always believed in peaceful protesting. What is happening at the U.S. Capital right now is not peaceful, this is violence. I condemn it in the strongest terms. We are a nation of laws and this must stop,” he said.
Congressman Steve Cohen’s tweet focused on the treatment by law enforcement of the pro-Trump supporters compared to black protestors last summer. He said, “If these criminals were black there would have been bullets tear gas and there would’ve been arrests and there would’ve been confrontations. For some reason these white rednecks got away with doing what they wanted to and went into the night.”
Arkansas senator Tom Cotton and John Rose who represents Tennessee’s sixth district both expressed that those responsible for the violence should answer for it.
Cotton tweeting, “This violence is unacceptable and needs to be met with the full force of the law.”
Rose tweeted, “Those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and while we let the police do their work, we should do ours as soon as possible.”
Cox Media Group