Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday slammed the growing number of Republican lawmakers who have downplayed the threat of Jan. 6’s deadly insurrection, calling the GOP’s false narrative “quite appalling.”
“Really? Well, I don’t know a normal day around here where people are threatening to hang the vice president of the United States, or shoot the speaker, or disrupt and injure so many police officers,” Pelosi told reporters in her first public remarks since multiple House Republicans shrugged off the Capitol riot during a hearing on Wednesday. One GOP lawmaker compared the siege to a “normal tourist visit.”
“I don’t consider that normal,” Pelosi said. “It was beyond denial, it fell into the range of sick.”
Four months after the attack in the Capitol, Jan. 6 is once again front and center for lawmakers and staffers who lived through it. And to Democrats, it seems that Republicans are trying to gloss over the facts of the insurrection at every turn — corroding Congress’ already narrow pipeline for bipartisan lawmaking.
On Wednesday alone, the GOP conference booted out Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney from their leadership for repeatedly calling out the false election claims by former President Donald Trump that led rioters to storm the building. Then, during a House Oversight Committee hearing, several Republicans pushed a false narrative that the media had over-hyped the attack.
Meanwhile, GOP leadership has refused to agree on terms for an independent investigation into the violence, insisting that any 9/11-style commission probing the riot also focus on left-wing groups.
Top Republicans have pushed back, noting that they have already condemned an insurrection that threatened many of their members. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday called the attack “atrocious.”
But GOP leaders have done little to rein in their conference as tensions escalate across the Capitol complex. That includes an incident on Wednesday evening, when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) reportedly berated Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in a hallway — prompting the Democratic lawmaker to report safety concerns to leadership.
Pelosi on Thursday described Greene’s “egregious” behavior as “verbal assault,” and suggested it should be referred to the House Ethics Committee.
“It is a cause for trauma and fear among members,” she said.