KMA Land: Axne recaps an ‘unbelievable day’
January 7, 2021
(Washington) — Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne calls Wednesday’s unrest in Washington “highly sad, and a disappointing spot on American history.”
In what some officials call an act of insurrection, pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building as a joint session of Congress was underway on certification of the electoral vote confirming Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. In an interview on KMA’s “Morning Line” program late Wednesday afternoon, Axne says she had just concluded a ZOOM meeting with constituents in Waukee, and was on her way to the session when unrest broke loose.
“One building would get shut down–the Senate building,” said Axne. “Then, a House building got shut down. Then, the full capitol was shut down, and folks were invading the capitol. Then, we had a complete shelter in place order put in place for members and teams put in the offices. That was extended for all of Capitol Hill, so that the entire area was under complete lockdown.”
Earlier in the day, Axne described the mood in Washington as “scary.” The West Des Moines Democrat was asked whether she feared for her safety during the violence.
“People always say about me, ‘she’s sweet as pie, but she’s tough as nails,'” she said. “You’ve got to remember, I’m a woman who fought myself out of a rape attack. I have saved puppies out of the freezing cold, when people didn’t want me to remove their dogs, and they needed to be taken to a shelter. I’m not scared of a lot of things, but I’ll tell you–what we’re seeing out here really is scary. And, when my children are contacting me to see if I’m okay, that’s what really hits home.”
Axne says she was “incredibly surprised” that protesters were able to overcome capitol security, especially considering the tight security on display in the nation’s capital during last May’s BLM protests following the George Floyd tragedy.
“You know, they ran inside, they’re rifling through members’ offices, they’re destroying property, they’re running off with the speaker’s lectern,” said Axne. “Members are holed up in secure places in very unsafe ways right now, and their teams are, as well. There are hundreds of people shoved together in a safe room. This is just unacceptable.”
The congresswoman holds President Trump responsible for the turmoil that led to Wednesday’s incident at the capitol.
“This president, for four years, has incited violence and divisiveness in this country, because of the letter behind your name,” she said. “If you’re not a Republican, he says you don’t support him. Or, the color of your skin, or whatever. Or, the religion that you practice. This president has tried at every turn to divide our country–which in the past, if you’ve seen leaders who want power, that’s what they tried to do.”
Axne also condemned colleagues in the U.S. House and Senate who supported the objections to the Electoral College vote, as well as unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. You can hear the full interview with Cindy Axne on our “Morning Line” page at kmaland.com.