House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublicans caught in California's recall trap Raise the debt limit while starting to fix the budget 'Justice for J6' organizer calls on demonstrators to respect law enforcement MORE (D-Calif.) said Saturday that the rioters who took part in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday chose their "whiteness" over democracy.
The Associated Press first reported her remarks, which she made during an online video meeting with constituents in San Francisco. A transcript of her comments were shared with The Hill.
The comment came after Pelosi acknowledged the number of people who died of COVID-19 on Wednesday and Thursday, both of which were records for single-day coronavirus deaths in the United States.
On Wednesday, a mob of President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE's supporters violently attacked the Capitol building while Congress, including the speaker, were in the process of certifying President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE's Electoral College win. The protesters sought to halt the certification of the election results after Trump encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol.
Pelosi acknowledged that many of those who died were people of color, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said are more likely to succumb to COVID-19.
"When that assault was taking place on the Capitol, 3,865 people in our country died of the coronavirus, many of them people of color because of the injustice of it all,” Pelosi said.
“The next day, on Thursday, 4,000 people died of the coronavirus. Why? Because decisions were made at the highest level, months before in the Oval Office, of denial, distortion, delay, calling it a ‘hoax.’”
Pelosi then shifted to Jan. 6, which she remarked is “the Feast of the Epiphany,” a feast holiday celebrated widely among Christians after Christmas that is often referred to as "Three Kings Day."
“I thought it was going to be an epiphany for those who were in opposition of our democracy to see the light,” Pelosi said. “Instead, it was an epiphany for the world to see that there are people in our country, led by this President, for the moment, who have chosen their whiteness over democracy. That’s what this is about.”
The Speaker ended her remarks by saying what she described as the "complicity” and the “instigation" of Trump will be addressed.
“This cannot be exaggerated. Not only the complicity, the instigation of the President of the United States, must and will be addressed,” Pelosi finished. “It’s only a number of days now before we inaugurate a new President.”
Trump on Wednesday gave a speech at a rally of his supporters on the National Mall in which he encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol and demand that Congress only count the electors who were "lawfully slated."
Lawmakers were forced to evacuate after the rioters breached the Capitol in a melee that left five dead and led to dozens of arrests. Rioters broke windows, and vandalized statues and offices, including Pelosi’s office.
Pelosi on Friday threatened to impeach Trump for a second time on Friday if he did not resign in the wake of the riot.