WASHINGTON (KDKA) — Republican Congressman Mike Kelly of the 16th District has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.
He was among a group of congresspersons who objected to the counting and certification of Electoral votes from certain states, including Pennsylvania. He was on the House floor last Wednesday when a mob broke into the U.S. Capitol Building.
“It was surreal. It was something you see in a movie,” Rep. Kelly said. “This is something in some kind of fiction. This isn’t something that would be taking place in the nation’s Capitol Building. But it was. It was one of those things you look at and say, ‘I would never thought that would possibly happen.’ But it was, it was happening in real-time.”
KDKA’s Stacy Smith: Were you afraid at any time?
Kelly: No, I wasn’t afraid because I’ve always had such great faith in, first of all, our system and our Capitol Police. They are very brave people. … I understand how feelings are now. This has been coming on for four or five years. The pot has finally boiled over. But I didn’t think it would be a violent situation.
Smith: Do you feel those who broke in should be prosecuted?
Kelly: Absolutely. When you break the law, you need to get prosecuted. There needs to be an atonement for what you do.
Congressman Kelly says he is not sure who is responsible for leading the mob into the building.
“I don’t know the answer to that. I was on the floor of the House of Representatives debating, again, whether we thought the electors who were being certified and being counted that day had gotten there constitutionally.
Smith: The question still remains, congressman, whether the president by stating almost from Election night on that the election had been stolen from him, that that was a lie and made people gather there and then become this mob.
Kelly: When people say it was a lie, why do you say it was a lie? Because you don’t think what he says is true, so he must be lying. I think that a lot of the people that I have talked to believe the race was stolen. And so for people to say if he had said something different, this would not have happened, I think people responded to a situation that they thought — in their minds, again I was not there so I can’t speak for everybody — I think this pot has been boiling a long time. It boiled over on Wednesday. Could the president have spoke differently? I’m sure he could have spoke differently. Hindsight is always better than foresight, right? Hindsight is always 20/20, and words do matter. I wasn’t there for his address to the public, but obviously, there were some things he said that spurred people to do things they normally wouldn’t do. Or at least I hope they normally wouldn’t do.
Smith: President-elect (Joe) Biden has stated that he wants to unify this country. Given the way things stand right now and how polarized it is, can he unify the country?
Kelly: I think he could make a little stronger efforts to do it, especially right now. I don’t think the president-elect has said anything that has infuriated anybody. I just think maybe the contrary, he hasn’t said anything strong enough to calm things down.
Kelly also said he does not believe the 25th Amendment should be enacted or that there should be another impeachment proceeding. As for whether Pres. Trump should lead the Republican Party forward, Kelly says that will be up for the people to decide.