Kentucky’s political leaders from both sides of the aisle are condemning the actions of extremist Trump supporters who stormed into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, occupying House and Senate chambers and disrupting the count of electoral votes.
Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat, tweeted that he had been safely evacuated as “large groups of Trump supporters” stormed the Capitol.
“This is not who we are as Americans,” he wrote.
My staff and I are safe and following the U.S. Capitol Police’s evacuation orders as large groups of Trump supporters are attempting to storm the Capitol and House buildings. This is not who we are as Americans.
— Rep. John Yarmuth (@RepJohnYarmuth) January 6, 2021
Reached by phone from an undisclosed location, Yarmuth told WFPL News he was not in the House Chamber when it was breached. He said he was in his office building around 1 p.m. when Capitol Police began running up and down the hall “banging on the doors,” saying members and staff needed to evacuate to another building because of a bomb threat at the Republican Club across the street.
Yarmuth said those in the House Chamber during the breach by Pro-Trump extremists were mostly Republicans and Democrats from the Arizona delegation.
“I thought it was absolutely outrageous that the president basically stoked all this by speaking to [his supporters] earlier today,” he said. “He was down speaking to them today, not urging them to violence, but urging them to ‘keep fighting’…so what do you expect those people to do?”
Asked whether he thought the security response and preparation was adequate, given what happened, Yarmuth said “clearly it wasn’t.”
“This is an insurrection we’re watching…And I don’t think it was ever anticipated that Capitol Police would face an insurrection from a mob like this.”
“You had an assault on the United States Capitol. I’m not sure how to process that.”
Yarmuth is hoping that to diffuse the tension, the president and Republican leaders will accept the results of the presidential election.
He commended Republican Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his speech on the Senate floor before the storming, urging his party to accept the election results. But he said he thinks Trump’s supporters will only respond to him.
“The only way to diffuse these people in the streets I think right now is for President Trump to say ‘The election is over, I lost. This is not the United States of America. Go home.’”
Trump has sent out a tweet and a video statement telling his supporters to “remain peaceful” and “go home in peace.” But in the same statement Trump maintained the election was “stolen,” with no evidence.
But Yarmuth said the tweets are not enough.
“Once the people are in the streets, the tweets really don’t help,” he said.
Ky. Republicans Condemn Storming of Capitol
Republicans also condemned the insurrection. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul called the storming of the Capitol “violence and mob rule.”
Violence and mob rule is wrong and un-American, and it will not bring about election reform.
Today’s mayhem sets back any intelligent debate for a generation. Just stop it.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 6, 2021
Congressman Thomas Massie, another Republican release a statement saying he’s safe but not otherwise commenting.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) January 6, 2021
The Kentucky GOP also spoke out against the actions of Trump supporters.
RPK Chairman Mac Brown has issued the following statement:
“We denounce the angry mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol today and condemn them in the strongest possible terms. Violence is never acceptable and has no place in our Democracy. 1/2
— Republican Party of Kentucky (@KYGOP) January 6, 2021
“The individuals engaged in this criminal behavior are dangerous and destructive and should be held fully accountable,” Kentucky Republican Party Chairman Mac Brown wrote in a statement on Twitter.
Congressman Andy Barr called the day’s events “ tragic, outrageous and devastating” and called for an end to the violence.
Other Kentucky politicians released statements condemning the actions, including Kentucky Sec. of State Mike Adams.
The reason we have elections is so we don't have what we see today – madness and mob rule. I pray for the safety of all members of Congress, staff and Capitol Police.
— KY SOS Michael Adams (@KYSecState) January 6, 2021
Along with Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron:
What is happening on Capitol Hill today is despicable, and I condemn it.
We are a country founded on the rule of law. Concerns and grievances are addressed through the political process and through peaceful protests, not violence and anarchy. This must stop.
— Attorney General Daniel Cameron (@kyoag) January 6, 2021
Gov. Andy Beshear called the mob “domestic terrorists” in a video he shared on Twitter.
A statement from Gov. Beshear on the events unfolding at the United States Capitol: pic.twitter.com/C4mDMluauu
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) January 6, 2021
This story will be updated.