House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would have fought the violent demonstrators who stormed the Capitol on January 6 if they had managed to locate her in the building, calling herself “a street fighter” during an interview with USA TODAY.
Federal prosecutors have suggested that both Pelosi and then-Vice President Mike Pence were targets for the demonstrators, with some saying the mob was seeking to kill the lawmakers.
“That’s what they were setting out to do,” Pelosi told USA TODAY. When asked if she was frightened by the potential violence, Pelosi added, “Well, I’m pretty tough. I’m a street fighter. They would have had a battle on their hands.”
Pelosi then lifted her foot in the air revealing four-inch-high stilettos and jokingly said, “I would have had these” to use as weapons.
Pelosi said she was never truly afraid for herself because she is surrounded by “so much security,” but she was “afraid for everybody else.”
“I’ll never forgive them the trauma that they caused to the staff and the members,” Pelosi said of the Capitol demonstrators.
Pelosi’s bold language comes just days after a new report from Inspector General Michael Bolton revealed Capitol Police had more warnings about the demonstration at the Capitol than was previously known, with the report specifically noting that police new “Congress itself is the target,” The New York Times reported.
Bolton found the law enforcement agency failed to prepare for the event despite clear warnings of potential violence. The inspector general also noted that leaders ordered the Civil Disturbance Unit to avoid using certain crowd-control tools, including stun grenades.
“Unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counterprotesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th,” the threat assessment said, according to the inspector general’s report. “Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”
But in preparation for the event, Bolton said the agency wrote that there were “no specific known threats related to the joint session of Congress.”
Bolton determined the intelligence failure was the result of agency dysfunction and stressed the need for “guidance that clearly documents channels for efficiently and effectively disseminating intelligence information to all of its personnel.”
“It is my hope that the recommendations will result in more effective, efficient, and/or economical operations,” he wrote.