Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan joins Yahoo Finance Live to share his concerns regarding the violent protests that took place at the United States Capitol on Wednesday as well as break down the importance of a peaceful transition of power.
MYLES UDLAND: And let's bring in Congressman Tim Ryan. He is a representative, a Democrat from Ohio's 13th congressional district. Congressman Ryan, thank you so much for joining the program today. Let's begin. And I'm glad to see that you are safe now. Let's begin with what the last 24 hours were like for you. What was your day like yesterday? And how quickly from your vantage point in your offices did things really start to go downhill on the Capitol?
TIM RYAN: I think it was surreal. Like most Americans who've had to watch this, we're fine. But it was surreal to think that you're getting texts from the Capitol Police. First there was an external breach. Then there was an internal breach into the Capitol. And you get a text that says lock your doors. Don't make any noise, and stay away from the windows. I mean, that's alarming for anybody. And then to watch the videos of people climbing up the Capitol steps where I've been here 19 years. I was an intern here, worked here for a little while when I was younger.
You were never allowed on those steps post 9/11. You weren't really allowed on the Plaza unless you were a school group and you were approved or you were with a member of Congress. So to see people hanging from the there with their flags was startling for a lot of us and again incited by the president. He whipped that crowd into a frenzy earlier in the morning, gave them a pep talk. You've got to be strong. You can't take over the country. If you're weak and sent them down to the Capitol and said I'll meet you down there.
And this is what happens. And this is the end of a very ugly chapter in our country's history.
- Congressman, we've heard from some lawmakers saying that President Trump should be impeached or removed. What do you think should happen to the president in light of yesterday's events?
TIM RYAN: Absolutely impeached immediately, 25th Amendment put in action immediately. He is dangerous. He incited. This has never happened I mean, no other president, Democrat or Republican, conservative, liberal has ever incited a crowd to go storm the Capitol of the United States and basically try to run a coup and stop the counting of votes from the process that the American people said who they wanted their next president to be. No issues of fraud, the lawyers in places like Pennsylvania would not go before the bar and say fraud because they would lose their license.
So he needs to go immediately. And I don't think we want to spend the next two weeks with him having the tremendous amount of power that the president holds before an inauguration. Who knows what he'll do? And I just don't think he can be trusted to stay in place. Look, I don't agree with Mike Pence on probably anything. But I do respect his ability and his appreciation for the process. And I think he would administer a peaceful transition of power. And that to me is very, very important. And I hope something we all could agree on, but Donald Trump can't be trusted.
To do this, what he did yesterday is disgusting. And to think of these other senators, Hawley and these others who coddled him over the years, Jim Jordan and others who perpetuate this nonsense that no realistic person thinks is true. But they continue to do it and then manipulate their followers who put their trust in them to give it to them straight. This is disgusting what's happening here. And I think he needs to go so that we can have a peaceful transition of power.
- You and I spoke yesterday before all of this chaos started. And we were talking just about the objections themselves. You said those were poison for the body politic, and that was going to take a lot to overcome just those objections. So now that we've seen this violence at the Capitol yesterday, what's the long term damage here?
TIM RYAN: I think it's significant. I think our country is in a really, really bad place. And I think we need elected leaders to be candid, to be honest that we're not in a good spot. And we've got to-- each citizen has got to put forth the effort to help us bring about some healing in this country. And that means getting out of your comfort zone. That means getting out of your own self-interests and put forward the effort needed for us to heal. And Joe Biden's number one job is going to be healer in chief. He's got to bring us together. We've got to bring about the healing process.
And we've got to call out these politicians who are trying to-- I don't care how many Ivy League degrees Ted Cruz has or Hawley has. I'm not impressed when you use your education and your privilege to manipulate people who are pawns in your game so you can garner some support from President Trump's base that you couldn't get on your own. So we've got to call those people out, ask them to repent and admit what they did and then let's move on with the healing process.
But I think it's going to take a while. President Trump will still be out and about causing trouble, probably uniquely to Republican primaries. But hopefully we can build some coalitions with clear-thinking citizens and politicians to begin the healing process. There is a lot we agree on. We've got to work hard again, put the effort forth to try to find what those issues are and move forward. But we've got to be candid with the American people as to who's running a lot of BS on the American people. And that ultimately has got us in this position that we're in right now. All this coddling of the president got us to where we are now.
JULIE HYMAN: Congressman, when we talk about accountability, I also want to ask you something else about yesterday, which has to do with the response, right. A lot of parallels being drawn between the police response yesterday and what happened in Lafayette Square with Black Lives Matter protesters and really what was an extraordinary police response in that case where they came down hard on protesters. What do you make of that? What kind of probe do you think needs to follow?
TIM RYAN: I think it's absolutely clear that if that crowd was full of black people that the response would have probably been a lot more aggressive. And that's another issue that we need to be very candid about in this country if we're going to bring about some healing, that there are a couple set of standards in the country. We need to be honest about that. And I think yesterday was another indication that we've got a lot of work to do in that regard.
But my-- you've got two things here, one is that my heart goes out and my thanks go out to the Capitol Police, that the rank and file members who put their lives and health on the line. I think there were 50 or 60 police officers who got hurt. There were 15 in the hospital. One is in critical condition now. We are thankful for their service, but we're also going to be very, very critical of the lack of planning, the lack of strategic anticipation of what this could be like, especially given the rhetoric coming from the president going all the way back, four years worth, but particularly after the election.
In early December, he said January 6 is going to be wild. They're going to hear from us, whipped everybody into a frenzy yesterday morning and sent them down to the Capitol. You've got to be strong. You can't be weak if you're going to take back your country is what he said and then sent them down there, said I'm going to meet you down there. And so he whipped them into a frenzy, gave them a pep talk, and sent them out onto the field of battle. And they stormed the Capitol. And so why weren't we prepared for that? Where was the National Guard? Why weren't there thousands of people available?
We were told that the National Guard was going to be ready. We were told that there was plenty of law enforcement activities and mutual aid agreements and all the rest. And it didn't amount to a hill of beans. Again, the men and women on the front lines held off the seize for about an hour and 15 minutes. But we didn't have plans in place. We're getting into this. And you could bet your rear end that I'm going to help get to the bottom of this with a lot of other people who are very concerned about this.
BRIAN SOZZI: Congressman, how concerned are you that we might see this type of mob erupt on inauguration day? And then secondarily, how concerned are you that we might see more of this happening when President Trump's full job is on Twitter, posting things on Twitter after he leaves the White House?
TIM RYAN: Well, if he continues to incite violence, I hope that Twitter will continue to have and make the courageous decision that they made the other day yesterday to take his account from him, to impede his ability to be able to incite violence. We're very concerned and continuing to try to plan for the inauguration. I think you're going to see a significant police presence here, especially after yesterday. And we just again, we've all got to make the effort to try to take the temperature down in the country, try to find some level of agreement.
I don't think the vast majority of Trump's followers would agree with what happened yesterday. I know I are some. Obviously there's a violent group that was willing to do what they did yesterday. But these voters, I don't think they support that. And they need to know that we can try to move on from this without the violence. And I think that most people fully reject this, just like we reject bullies and other types of violence in this country. The lawlessness is not going to stand here. But we've all got to take a part in making sure that happens.
MYLES UDLAND: All right, Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio. Congressman, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us this morning. Happy new year, and I know we'll talk in the year ahead.
TIM RYAN: Take care. Thanks.