U.S. Congresswoman Angie Craig, D-Eagan, who represents Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, said she was walking from the House gallery to her office in the U.S. Capitol to take a 15-minute call when her phone alerted her of a bomb threat.
For the next hour and a half, Craig sat in her office with the lights off and her emergency kit at the ready, which included gas masks and radio communications. She watched on social media as Donald Trump supporters invaded the building.
“I was literally watching my colleagues in gas masks lying on the House floor in the gallery,” Craig said. “I was watching that unfold on social media.”
On Wednesday, Jan. 6, Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol in attempts to thwart a peaceful transfer of power between the president and President-elect Joe Biden. The siege occurred after Trump spoke before the crowd of protesters, stating, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told the crowd, “Let’s have trial by combat.”
After sheltering in her office for more than an hour, Capitol police ushered Craig and her chief of staff to an undisclosed location with about 500 other people, she said. Craig sheltered there for about four and a half hours as they watched the events unfold online.
“From the moment these things occurred, we were committed to getting back to the work that we had started and making sure Joe Biden was certified as the next president,” Craig said.
Craig said while she was “angry” and “shocked” at what had happened on Jan. 6, she was feeling — more than anything — sadness at the country’s “deep division.”
“I flew back to Minnesota last night; it was a solemn plane ride back,” Craig said in an interview with Southwest News Media on Jan. 8. “Around me were many Trump supporters, and I listened to them. They truly believe this was not a free and fair election. So... we have to hold those accountable who aren’t telling them the truth.”
Dean Phillips, also a Democrat who represents Minnesota’s 3rd District, told Sheletta Brundidge on WCCO News Jan. 7 that the destruction that occurred at the Capitol required reflection on both sides of the aisle.
“Trauma and tragedy often present opportunities. I am one that is always an optimist,” Phillips said. “My hope, my prayer, and expectation is we reflect on the events of yesterday and use them as an opportunity to repair and recommit to decency, democracy, and respect.”
Craig said beating division in this country is at the forefront of her priorities. On Jan. 7, she tweeted that she had joined the articles of impeachment resolution to remove Trump from office.
“I do this understanding that the deep divisions in our country have got to be healed,” Craig said.
Additional reporting by Reporter Eric Kraushar.