KX News spoke to Sen. Kevin Cramer on Thursday, one day after rioting protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol building.
He said he was in the Senate chambers, debating an objection to the Electoral outcome in Arizona when he heard a sudden ruckus.
He saw the Vice President ushered out of the hall by Secret Service members and the gravity of the moment became clear on his way to a secure location.
“At that point, we were saying, ‘It must be a bomb threat or something like that,’ because you can sort of deal with that, something sort of abstract. Until an officer said, ‘Move quicker people, they’re right behind us.’ And at that moment, that was when it went, ‘OK, this is real.’ ‘They are right behind us’ makes it sound like they are in pursuit of us,” said Cramer.
Congress reconvened hours later to finish the job of counting the Electoral College votes.
He says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stressed the importance of finishing the count — in defiance of the rioters.
“His highest priority was that the entire world — adversaries and allies — saw that the United States Congress went back to its post…And we did. And we finished our work. And a lot of people — it was a very important time,” he said.
Cramer also said he was disappointed by the rhetoric at a rally that led up to the storming of the Capitol — including President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, calling for “trial by combat.”
But he believes nobody is to blame for the violence, except those who took part in it.