Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) compared the unrest at the Capitol on Wednesday to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that led to the U.S. entrance into World War II.
“President Franklin Roosevelt set a day aside that will live in infamy,” Schumer said. “Unfortunately, we can now add January 6, 2021, to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy.”
Sen. Schumer compares today's events to Pearl Harbor:
"Franklin Roosevelt set a day aside that will live in infamy. Unfortunately, we can now add January 6, 2021 to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy." pic.twitter.com/mVMrVbuxQ8
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 7, 2021
Members of Congress reconvened Wednesday evening after a tumultuous day in which apparent supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the seat of the legislative branch. Schumer earlier released an official statement about the turmoil:
It is very, very difficult to put into words what has transpired today. I have never lived through or even imagined an experience like the one we have just witnessed in this Capitol. President Franklin Roosevelt set aside Dec. 7, 1941, as a day that will live in infamy. Unfortunately, we can now add Jan. 6, 2021, to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy.
This temple to democracy was desecrated, its windows smashed, our offices vandalized. The world saw Americans’ elected officials hurriedly ushered out because they were in harm’s way. The House and Senate floors were places of shelter until the evacuation was ordered, leaving rioters to stalk these hallowed halls. Lawmakers and our staffs, Average citizens who love their country, serve it every day, feared for their lives. I understand that one woman was shot and tragically lost her life. We mourn her and feel for her friends and family.
These images were projected for the world. Foreign embassies cabled their home capitals to report the harrowing scenes at the very heart of our democracy. This will be a stain on our country not so easily washed away – the final, terrible, indelible legacy of the 45th president of the United States, undoubtedly our worst.
I want to be very clear: Those who performed these reprehensible acts cannot be called protesters – no, these were rioters and insurrectionists, goons and thugs, domestic terrorists. They do not represent America. They were a few thousand violent extremists who tried to take over the Capitol building and attack our democracy. They must and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law – hopefully by this administration, if not certainly by the next. They should be provided no leniency.
I want to thank the many of the Capitol Hill police and Secret Service and local police who kept us safe today and worked to clear the Capitol and return it to its rightful owners and its rightful purpose.
I want to thank the leaders, Democrat and Republican, House and Senate. It was Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy and myself who came together and decided that these thugs would not succeed, that we would finish the work that our Constitution requires us to complete in the very legislative chambers of the House and Senate that were desecrated but we know always belong to the people and do again tonight.
But make no mistake, make no mistake, my friends, today’s events did not happen spontaneously. The president, who promoted conspiracy theories and motivated these thugs, the president who exhorted them to come to our nation’s capital, egged them on – he hardly ever discourages violence and more often encourages it – this president bears a great deal of the blame. This mob was in good part President Trump’s doing, incited by his words, his lies. This violence, in good part his responsibility, his ever-lasting shame. Today’s events certainly — certainly — would not have happened without him. Now, Jan. 6 will go down as one of the darkest days in recent American history.
A final warning to our nation about the consequences of a demagogic president, the president who enable him, the captive media that parrots his lies and the people who follow him as he attempts to push America to the brink of ruin. As we reconvene tonight, let us remember, in the end all this mob has really accomplished is to delay our work by a few hours. We will resume our responsibilities now, and we will finish our task tonight. The House and Senate chambers will be restored good as new and ready for legislating in short order. The counting of the electoral votes is our sacred duty.
Democracy’s roots in this nation are deep, they are strong. They will not be undone ever by a group of thugs. Democracy will triumph, as it has for centuries. So, to my fellow Americans who are shocked and appalled by the images on their televisions today and who are worried about the future of this country, let me speak to you directly: The divisions in our country clearly run deep, but we are a resilient, forward-looking and optimistic people, and we will begin the hard work of repairing this nation tonight because here in America we do hard things. In America, we always overcome our challenges.
President Trump released a statement on Twitter amid the unrest in the capital, which Twitter later deleted:
I know your pain. I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now, we have to have peace. We have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us — from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you, you’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.