Hundreds of Trump supporters who attended the Stop the Steal protest in Washington over the loss of President Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential election on Wednesday stormed the United States Capitol, walked through barricades, security and even broke into offices.
Adweek’s TVNewser blog has briefed some of the correspondents who have been to the Capitol about the uprising to share their experiences and how they expect Capitol Hill to change as a result of Wednesday’s events. Martha Raddatz, ABC News chief global affairs correspondent, Kasie Hunt, NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent, Garrett Haake, MSNBC correspondent, Cristina Londoño, Fox News correspondent, Chad Pergram, PBS NewsHour Capitol Hill correspondent, Lisa Desjardins, correspondent of PBS NewsHour Capitol Hill, and Jeff, CBS News Pegues correspondent, provided ground-level observations and insights on a historic, chaotic day for America.
Which moment from your experience on Wednesday do you notice the most and why?
Desjardins: As I walked to the front door of the Capitol, I saw a horde of people crash into the door with no police presence in sight. This moment will be hard to forget.
Haake: The most haunting thing I saw on Wednesday were rioters walking through the statue hall. I was across the street in the Russell building, watching on my monitor and seeing these angry people in this room, right off the floor, where we’re so used to seeing lawmakers on big nights like the State of the Union, was incredibly irritating and disoriented.
Hunt: I was live on our special report when I saw on-screen images of people who weren’t supposed to be in the Capitol walking to the house chamber door, and then Haley Talbot, our producer, started texting us who they were said putting on gas masks. The room we were broadcasting from in the Russell building was never breached or evacuated, so I was never in personal danger – so I was worried about Haley’s safety and was just incredulous that not just the Capitol, but the actual floor of the house had been injured. It is unfathomable; I’ve been to the Capitol dozens of times during protests, some noisy, and the safest place has always been inside. That sudden feeling of vulnerability within these walls was terrifying.
Londoño: In the midst of the chaos of lawmakers hiding on the floor or storming out of their chambers in fear, I met Carmen, who works in a cafeteria in the Capitol. Carmen was emotional and fought back tears. She said to me that her family called her like crazy before realizing what was going on in the building. The first thing they said to her was, “We wanted to make sure you didn’t get shot.” I was amazed by your comment. When you have a microphone in hand, eager and ready to do what you need to do to get the story down, sometimes you don’t stop and think about the danger. Carmen helped me put the human element of yesterday’s events in perspective.
Pastes: When I was just standing on the lawn of the Capitol Building and watching people climb the walls, my first thought was: How did we get to this point in this country? Thousands of people thought it was a good idea to storm the symbol of democracy.
Per gram; I think what I remember most is the picture of the policeman shooting the woman on the edge of the speaker’s lobby. This is a main place where reporters, helpers and other employees just kind of work. Directly behind this door is a mirror above the main entrance to the speaker’s lobby on the Democratic side and also on the Republican side. And as soon as this woman started climbing those glass doors and trying to get through the mirror, he fired his gun because there is a door that leads straight into the chamber. They were almost in the Chamber with members who had just suspended the joint session of Congress immediately.