House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was himself a previous victim of left-wing violence, unequivocally condemned the riot on Capitol Hill Wednesday as the work of “anarchists and terrorists.”
“It was a very disturbing day yesterday. You know, I had a lot of anger, [as] so many of my colleagues, that the Capitol got overrun. These were anarchists and terrorists,” Scalise told “Fox & Friends.”
“There is no place for it, and all of us that were unequivocal yesterday, just like we were unequivocal during the summer that there is no place in this country to resort to violence to solve differences — that’s not who we are as a country,” Scalise added. “It was very upsetting to see it happen yesterday. It was critical, as some of my other colleagues have said, that we had to take the House back and come back to work last night, and we did, and that was a big focus of the day when the Capitol had gotten overrun that we had to get it back.”
Scalise finished by thanking the Capitol Police for risking their lives to protect the Capitol and the many staffers and lawmakers who were inside.
In 2018, Rep. Scalise (R-LA) nearly died after a Bernie Sanders supporter opened fire on him and several GOP congressman during an early morning softball practice. The bullet ripped through his hip and pelvis, injuring internal organs.
After the violence on Wednesday, Scalise is not the only politician to describe the rioters as anarchists and terrorists; President-elect Joe Biden described them as “domestic terrorists.”
“What we witnessed yesterday, it was not dissent, it was not disorder, it was not protest — it was chaos. They weren’t protesters. Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists,” Biden said in a speech on Thursday. “It’s that basic; it’s that simple.”
“I wish we could say we couldn’t see it coming, but that isn’t true … the past four years we’ve had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law clear in everything he has done,” he asserted.
In the wake of the violence, questions have swirled over how exactly the rioters managed to breach the barricades and storm the Capitol. As The Daily Wire reported on Thursday, the answer is somewhat complicated.
Ahead of the protest, federal authorities reportedly wanted to maintain a “minimally visible presence” to “avoid inflaming tensions,” after months of violent protests and riots in cities across America.
Despite advanced knowledge of the impending protest, United States Capitol Police — the federal law enforcement agency tasked with protecting the complex — declined to request additional support ahead of time from the Department of Homeland Security, according to one senior official.
As a result, Capitol Police Officers, most without riot gear or other protective equipment, were left largely alone for over an hour.
While it remains unclear how many were on duty Wednesday, the entire Capitol Police force is comprised of just 1,900 officers, leaving those tasked with defending the grounds vastly outnumbered as rioters approached.
The lack of manpower was evident in footage posted to Twitter which appeared to show the moment rioters first breached the perimeter set up by Capitol Police. A small group of officers initially managed to hold off the mob, tackling a few individuals who jumped over the portable fencing, but were soon overrun as the number of rioters surged.