An Oklahoma Republican congressman who was inside the Capitol during the riots on Wednesday challenged ABC’s “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopolous on Thursday when he repeatedly stated that President Trump had “encouraged” the rioters, stating, “It’s all of us. The media’s to blame; the Right and the Left is to blame.”
On Thursday morning, Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) told Stephanopolous, “The sergeant at arms and the Capitol police said there were heroes here, George, they showed a lot of restraint, the best they could, and there were some mistakes about shots being fired. It’s a matter of just communicating and understanding what’s happening at the time. There’s a lot of chaos going on, but I’ll tell you, the triage center down in the basement of one of our office buildings, there was way more than a dozen; there was 25 to 50 law officials — from male and female to Capitol police to D.C. police — and all of them had sustained injuries and all of them were doing their job, and God bless and preserve the real heroes.”
Stephanopoulos asked what was going through Mullin’s mind when the rioters were attacking the Capitol. Mullin answered, “Obviously we were concerned; I never thought I was going to see this in the United States. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this before overseas, and we’re better than this, George. As a country we’re better than this. We can debate better than this. What we do in our country other countries look at. I get people getting passionate and being frustrated, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things, and yesterday was wrong. There’s absolutely no excuse for it. And we’re very fortunate a lot more people didn’t lose their lives. One is way too many.”
Stephanopoulos asked Mullin to “walk us through” what had been going on. Mullin replied:
At that time, they were trying to come through the front door, which is where I was at in the chamber, and in the back they were trying to come through the speaker’s lobby, and that’s problematic when you’re trying to defend two fronts. Anybody will understand that. You’ve got to secure the perimeter. And in the front there hadn’t been a breach yet, even though they were trying. That’s what we originally thought. Guns. Shots were fired … broke the glass. When they broke the glass in the back, the lieutenant that was there — him and I already had multiple conversations prior to this — and he didn’t have a choice at the time.
The mob was going to come through the door, and there was a lot of members and staff that were in danger at the time. And when he drew his weapon, that’s a decision that’s very hard for anyone to make and, once you draw your weapon like that, you have to defend yourself with deadly force. A part of you leaves that day too. The first time that happens, you never forget it. And unfortunately two people’s lives changed: that young lady’s family’s lives changed and his life also changed. But what also happened is that mob that was trying to go through that door, they left. His actions may be judged in a lot of different ways going forward, but his actions, I believe, saved people’s lives even more. Unfortunately, it did take one, though.
When Stephanopoulos said, “That mob was encouraged by the president,” Mullin shook his head, asserting, “I disagree with that. We’re all responsible for our own actions. Full stop. It’s our actions. We’re all adults here, or are supposed to be adults. These flames have been fanned for over five years now.”
“By the president,” Stephanopoulos stated.
Mullin continued, “It’s all of us. The media’s to blame; the Right and the Left is to blame. But at the end of the day we’re all responsible for our own actions. … We need to take a hard look at our country. We need to take a hard look at the way we debate. We can agree to disagree but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you; that doesn’t mean I don’t care for you; that doesn’t mean I don’t love this country any more or any less than you. But what we did yesterday was absolutely unexcuseable.”
Stephanopoulos insisted, “We didn’t do it; the mobsters did it; the rioters did it, the president encouraged it.”