Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley said Sunday that she was “haunted” by the scenes of black custodial staff cleaning up after the “white supremacist mob” that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Pressley joined Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” and discussed the criticism of former President Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial with some saying that it isn’t necessary and that “we need to move on” from it.
“The reason why it took a violent insurrection, a white supremacist mob seizing the Capitol, waving the Confederate flag, erecting a noose on the west lawn of the Capitol, injury and loss of life, for many to appreciate the threat that white supremacy is to every American, and to our democracy … is because as a country, we have been turning the page,” she said.
“If we really believe that this is a moment of reckoning in every way, then we must act accordingly,” Pressley added. “And that means that Donald J. Trump must be held accountable because he is culpable for having incited this insurrection by perpetuating this big lie.”
A number of Democratic lawmakers, including Pressley and other members of “The Squad,” have pushed the theory that the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol was made up of white supremacists groups. One lawmaker subsequently called Trump the “racist-in-chief” in a speech on the House floor. (RELATED: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says There Are ‘Legitimate White Supremacist Sympathizers That Sit At The Heart’ Of The Republican Caucus)
Trump has been accused of inciting the mob at a rally held near the White House prior to the storming of the Capitol, where he continued his rhetoric concerning widespread election fraud. He was impeached on Jan. 13. with his trial expected to begin on Tuesday. Some have questioned the relevance of the impeachment trial and point out that it is highly unlikely Trump will be convicted with the necessary 67-vote majority because 45 senators previously voted to dismiss the trial due to Trump no longer being in office.
“For those that continue to feign great surprise about what happened on January 6, as a black woman, to be barricaded in my office using office furniture and water bottles, on the ground, in the dark, that terror, those moments of terror, is familiar in a deep and ancestral way for me … And one of the images that I’m haunted by is the black custodial staff cleaning up the mess left by that violent white supremacist mob. That is a metaphor for America. We have been cleaning up after violent white supremacist mobs for generations, and it must end,” Pressley said.