GOP lawmaker on protesters storming Capitol: ‘I have not seen anything like this since I deployed to Iraq’
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), one of a small group of House Republicans who announced they would not challenge the presidential election results, commented on the supporters of President Trump storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, saying he had “not seen anything like this since I deployed to Iraq.”
In a phone interview with CNN, Gallagher said he was hunkered down in his office after the House and Senate gaveled out of their debates on the Electoral College results as footage showed protesters breaching security and entering the building.
“This is insane,” Gallagher began. “I have not seen anything like this since I deployed to Iraq in 2007 and 2008,” added the congressman, who was twice deployed to Iraq as a Marine Corps intelligence officer.
“This is America and this is what’s happening right now,” he added, before demanding that Trump call off the protests.
“The president needs to call it off, like call it off… it’s over. The election’s over,” Gallagher continued. “And the objectors need to stop meddling with the primal forces of our democracy here. They need to stop it, like there is a cost.”
Gallagher added that Republicans backing Trump’s election challenges “think they’re just having a protest debate and they can get away with it because it’s not actually going to overturn the election.”
“Well now we’re seeing the cost of that play out in real time,” the congressman said.
Gallagher also shared a self-recorded video from his office on Twitter, pleading with Trump to take action and arguing that the president is “the only person who can call this off.”
“This is bigger than you, it’s bigger than any member of Congress,” Gallagher said in remarks directed at the president. “It is about the United States of America, which is more important than any politician. Call it off. It’s over.”
— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@RepGallagher) January 6, 2021
As Gallagher made these remarks, Trump issued a tweet calling on the protesters to “remain peaceful.”
“No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue,” the president wrote. “Thank you!”
I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Trump minutes earlier had issued a similar tweet calling on demonstrators to “support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country.”
Other GOP lawmakers also expressed their concern and condemnation over the protests, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) calling it a “coup attempt” on Twitter.
Vice President Pence was removed from the Senate amid the unrest. Lawmakers were instructed to get down in their chairs, and the doors of the House chamber were locked.
Trump previously called on his supporters to rally in Washington, D.C., on the day Congress was slated to certify the Electoral College vote affirming Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.