ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — News 8 spoke with Congressman Joe Morelle (D) during violent protests in Washington D.C. Wednesday.
ADAM CHODAK: Congressman thank you for joining us. My first question to you is this — Are you okay?
REP. JOE MORELLE: Yes. I’m in a secure location within the Capitol complex and I’m fine, physically. Obviously this is an incredibly difficult day but yeah I’m fine thank you for asking.
AC: Were you in the House chamber when this happened? Where were you and what happened?
JM: No. I was in my office early this morning, we had a number of Zoom meetings. Typically a joint session would have all 500-plus members of the Senate and House gathered in the chambers, but given the pandemic protocols we are at – within the Capitol complex but not gathered together. Obviously I don’t think anyone foresaw what unfolded. In any case we’re all in communication with one another and we will resume the work of the House and the Senate and I’m sure we’ll vote throughout the night and through tomorrow until the certification is completed.
AC: What do you think about what’s happening right now?
JM: Well I think it’s heartbreaking. The thing that has separated America out is a republic where people live under the rule of law and support the Constitution, which is a document that helps ensure that rule of law is followed, and today was just an unimaginable surrealistic scene here in Washington. Obviously everyone has the right to protest but it’s got to be done in an appropriate and safe way and today it was not. We may bend but we will not break. The resiliency of this country is strong and we’ll get back to our work and in 2 weeks we’ll have a president who was duly elected sworn in, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be but obviously it is heartbreaking to watch this and to know that our children and grandchildren are watching. It says a lot about the need to bring people together and unite around a common cause, which is how to make progress for our country and secure liberty and prosperity for every American.
AC: We just heard through a statement NY A.G. Letitia James call this a “coup.” We have national leaders calling this an “insurrection.” Do you think that’s an appropriate description?
JM: You know I think Adam over the next several weeks and months we will begin to investigate what exactly happened here. It is incredibly troubling, to say the least, when you have the House and Senate chambers invaded by protesters that stop the work of the nation. When protesters are beating down offices. It’s incredibly difficult to watch, but we’ll have time over the next several weeks. I think the work at hand right now is to secure the Capitol and get back to the business at hand to make sure that the certification is done and that we begin to heal our country.
AC: Alright Congressman Morelle thank you so much for your time. We here at News 8 are wishing you and your colleagues on both sides of the aisle safety today.
More reactions from Rep. Joe Morelle and Rep. Tom Reed: