Pelosi calls out armed colleagues as security threats: 'The enemy is within the House'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says fellow colleagues pose a security threat: ‘The enemy is within the House’
Pelosi, D-Calif., discusses ongoing security threats to members of Congress after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot during a news conference on Jan. 28, 2021.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the chamber will likely allocate more money for members of Congress to invest in additional security to protect them from the likes of violent rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 — but also from the “enemy” within the House.
“We will probably need a supplemental [budget] for more security for members when the enemy is within the House of Representatives — a threat that members are concerned about in addition to what is happening outside,” Pelosi said during her weekly news conference Thursday at the Capitol.
When asked for clarification on what she means about the enemy within, Pelosi specifically called out fellow members of Congress.
“It means we have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi’s comments came after 32 members of Congress wrote to House leadership Thursday about members facing a “significant uptick in threats of violence and even death.”
The letter obtained by Fox News asks House leadership for flexibility in using their office funds to hire local law enforcement to protect them while in their district and to purchase “security items” to keep them safe at home. They also want the House to allocate supplemental funds for security “given the increased threat level.”
The letter, led by Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Dean Phillips, D-Minn., also asks for regular security briefings, an independent review of security protocols, help to keep members’ personal addresses private and legal recourse when their private information is published without permission.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Pelosi said most of the items on their list have already been addressed with Pelosi tasking retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré with leading a review of the U.S. Capitol’s security and new guidance already issued to allow members to use their office budget funds to purchase things like bulletproof vests and security guards at local events.
She said members will be receiving updated security guidance from the House’s acting sergeant-at-arms on Thursday.
“General Honoré is looking to see what really will work in terms of their service here, their service home, their transportation in between,” Pelosi said of enhanced safety measures.
Pelosi blamed former President Trump for inciting the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and for members’ ongoing security threats. The House already impeached Trump on Jan. 13 for “incitement of insurrection.”
“This is very, very important,” Pelosi said of security concerns. “It shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be that not only is the president of the United States inciting an insurrection but keeps fanning the flames endangering the security of members of Congress to the point that they’re even concerned about members in the House of Representatives being a danger to them.”
After the Jan. 6 riot, new metal detectors were installed outside the House chamber to ensure that members didn’t violate rules that ban guns on the House floor.
Republicans scoffed at the measures, with some openly violating the rules, including Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo. Capitol Police are also investigating Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., for recently setting off the metal detector while trying to enter the House chamber for apparently carrying a gun.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said she didn’t attend President Biden’s inauguration partly because she didn’t feel safe around her colleagues.
“I think we also had very real security concerns,” Ocasio-Cortez admitted to CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “We still don’t yet feel safe around other members of Congress.”
She added that a “very considerable amount” of members of Congress do not feel safe around their colleagues after the rioters breached the Capitol. She mentioned Harris trying to bring a gun into the House chamber.
“The moment you bring a gun onto the House floor in violation of rules you put everyone in danger,” she said.
Meantime, CNN unearthed past social media posts from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., where she indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians, including Pelosi, in 2018 and 2019.
Another post uncovered by Media Matters revealed that Greene suggested the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was a “false flag” planned event. She also once confronted Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg about gun rights. Hogg ignored Greene’s questions in the video, and she called him a “coward.”
Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., on Wednesday announced that he plans to introduce a resolution to expel the Greene from Congress, accusing Greene of previously supporting calls for “political violence” and advocating “extremism and sedition.”
Pelosi Thursday placed the blame on GOP House leadership for elevating Greene to the House Education and Labor Committee despite her stance to “mock” school shootings: “It’s really beyond the pale,” Pelosi said.
Greene, however, said the past posts are cherry-picked by politically motivated media and represent a fake narrative about her. She said the media has ignored her previous posts where she’s highlighted positive things about people of different backgrounds.
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“I am being attacked and judged nationally for things the media picks and cast an intense spotlight on, while creating a narrative about me that is NOT true,” Greene wrote on Facebook Thursday while sharing a throwback post of hers from 2016 where she said her friendships with others of different races, religions and political preferences are one of the things that makes America great.
“The mainstream media is politically motivated and I hope everyone is able to see through their lies,” Greene added.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.
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