Harris on Capitol attack: ‘Same thing that went through my mind when I saw Charlottesville’
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday said seeing photographs of rioters carrying the Confederate flag through the Senate hallways during last week’s pro-Trump siege at the Capitol was a reminder that “we still have a lot of work to do.”
“It was the same thing that went through my mind when I saw Charlottesville. I mean, it’s the same thing that went through my mind when I saw a picture of Emmett Till,” Harris said in an NPR interview.
“Sadly, it is not the first time I have seen a demonstration like what you are describing in the history of our country,” she added. “And and it is — it is a reminder that we still have a lot of work to do.”
Kevin Seefried, the man pictured carrying the Confederate flag in a viral photo, was arrested on Thursday in Delaware.
The outgoing California senator was in Washington, D.C., as thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“It was horrific. It was a day that wherein we witnessed an assault on America’s democracy, a day when we witnessed the terror that a few can wreak on so many,” Harris told the outlet. “And it was probably, you know, it will be in history recorded as one of the worst days in terms of an attack on the integrity of our democracy.”
Thousands typically pack the National Mall to watch the inauguration of a new president, but the coronavirus pandemic has already created restrictions around the inaugural ceremonies. Now, security concerns near the Capitol complex following the deadly riot have caused National Guard troops to be quartered in the building for the first time since the Civil War.
Harris was asked why it was so important to her and Biden that they still have the planned swearing-in ceremony outside on the West Front of the Capitol.
“I think that we cannot yield to those who would try and make us afraid of who we are. We are, for all of our faults and imperfections, we are a nation that was founded on very important principles and guided by extremely important ideals. And we cannot abandon that,” she said.
As she stands up to take the oath of office next week, Harris said she will be thinking about her late mother.
“I will be thinking about all of the people who are counting on us to lead and are counting on us to see them and to address their needs and the things that keep them up at night,” she said. “And I’ll be thinking about the fact that we have to hit the ground running immediately to support the people of our country, to support the children of our country, and to help get us out of the crises that we’re facing, but also to, you know, let’s get on and move forward and do the things that will allow us to grow and innovate and prosper.”
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