ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko anticipated Capitol protests, not magnitude

Jan 6, 2021, 6:02 PM
Rep. Debbie Lesko. (House Television via AP)...
Rep. Debbie Lesko. (House Television via AP)
(House Television via AP)

PHOENIX – U.S. Rep Debbie Lesko of Arizona said she knew protests would happen at the United States Capitol on Wednesday but did not anticipate how severe the situation would become.

“I really did predict that there was going to be a problem, but I did not predict that they were going to break into the U.S. Capitol,” Lesko told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show.

The House and Senate were set to convene to certify the results of the presidential election that would officially grant President-elect Joe Biden the presidency. As debates were going on, pro-President Donald Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, forcing lawmakers to shelter in place while authorities regained control of the situation.

Lesko said she was watching the events on the House floor unfold from a television in her office when people started to be whisked off the floor to safety. She said her phone was flooded with Capitol security alerts, alerting members that protesters were storming the building.

“We were in the middle of a passionate constitutional debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, and that’s what’s supposed to happen,” Lesko said.

“That is what’s supposed to happen, not people smashing windows crawling into the Capitol and threatening police officers.”

She noted both her and her staff were safe following in incident, but she was terrified as the events transpired. She said she was shocked police on the scene didn’t do more to control the situation.

“I thought for sure that the police were going to stop them, so this is a truly a lesson that they should have beefed up the police a lot more in advance because, you know, I’m not even a police officer, and I knew that there was gonna, I predicted there was going to be some unrest,” Lesko said.

The majority of the protesters arrived at the Capitol following a rally near the White House where Trump encouraged supporters to march on the Capitol, at times using incendiary language with violent undertones.

Trump later released a video statement on Twitter urging protesters to “go home” hours after the Capitol was stormed, but he took the opportunity to further push baseless allegations of mass voter fraud.

Lesko, who has historically been an avid Trump advocate, disagreed with how the president handled the situation.

“He needs to tone down the rhetoric and just put out calls, go on TV, say stop the protests, which he did do, but then he also said some other things that that I just didn’t think he needed to say,” Lesko said.

Lesko denounced the activity that happened and noted that the people involved should be prosecuted for their actions.

Congress was expected to resume certifying the election after the Capitol building was deemed secure.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez) 
              Members of the U.S. Secret Service Counter Assault Team walk through the Rotunda as they and other federal police forces responded as violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol today, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
            
              People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
            
              Members of the National Guard arrive to secure the area outside the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
            
              FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. The U.S. registered its highest deaths yet from the coronavirus on the same day as a mob attack on the nation’s capitol laid bare some of the same, deep political divisions that have hampered the battle against the pandemic. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
            
              Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., cleans up debris and trash strewn across the floor in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
            (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Protesters supporting U.S. President Donald Trump break into the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump.  Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during demonstrations in the nation's capital.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) Thousands of Donald Trump supporters gather outside the U.S. Capitol building following a "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. A large group of protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) 
              Police hold off Trump supporters who tried to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
            Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Papers and gas masks are left behind after House of Representatives members left the floor of the House chamber as protesters try to break into the chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Police keep a watch on demonstrators who tried to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he appears on a screen during a rally on the National Mall on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Protesters interact with Capitol Police inside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol Building near the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Supporters of President Donald Trump surround the U.S. Capitol following a rally on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) 
              Trump supporters gather on the Washington Monument grounds in advance of a rally Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his baseless claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: President Donald Trump greets the crowd at the "Stop The Steal" Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he appears on a screen during a rally on the National Mall on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Samuel Corum)

Arizona News

(Flickr/Martin Ely)...
KTAR.com

Tempe asks Arizona Supreme Court to review South Pier development case

Tempe has asked the Arizona Supreme Court to review a recent appeals court decision concerning a proposed development at Tempe Town Lake.
18 hours ago
A man works at an avocado orchard in Santa Ana Zirosto, Michoacan state, Mexico, Thursday, Jan. 26,...
Associated Press

Route to Super Bowl dangerous for Mexico’s avocado haulers

SANTA ANA ZIROSTO, Mexico (AP) — It is a long and sometimes dangerous journey for truckers transporting the avocados destined for guacamole on tables and tailgates in the United States during the Super Bowl. It starts in villages like Santa Ana Zirosto, high in the misty, pine-clad mountains of the western Mexico state of Michoacan. […]
18 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Drive-by shooting injures 2, strikes multiple businesses in Phoenix

A drive-by shooting in midtown Phoenix resulted in injuries to a teenage boy and a young girl Friday evening, authorities said.
18 hours ago
Jane Garcia / Scottsdale Police Department photo....
KTAR.com

Authorities cancel Silver Alert issued for woman last seen driving in Scottsdale

Authorities in Scottsdale issued a Silver Alert on Saturday morning for a missing woman last seen driving on Friday night.
18 hours ago
(Elite Civil Construction Photo)...
Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Phoenix construction firm lands job preparing State Farm Stadium for Super Bowl LVII

A fast-growing Phoenix construction company said working on preparing State Farm Stadium for Super Bowl LVII is paying early dividends.
18 hours ago
(Consumption Park screenshot)...
Wills Rice

Mint to host 3-day cannabis party near State Farm Stadium for Super Bowl

Mint Cannabis will be holding a "Big Game" party with a three-day festival near State Farm Stadium in Glendale during Super Bowl weekend.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko anticipated Capitol protests, not magnitude