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Sen. James Lankford condemns rioters in speech after lockdown

Posted at 11:23 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 10:32:03-05

TULSA, Okla. — In the moments before the US Capitol lockdown on Wednesday, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) was in the middle of a speech. It stopped as everyone took shelter for safety.

Hours later, after police secured the capitol and the debate began again, Lankford finished what he started, with a new message.

READ MORE: Updates: Officials secure Capitol nearly four hours after pro-Trump rioters storm building

Lankford condemned the chaos at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Wednesday as demonstrators stormed the Capitol building.

"The Vice President said things more eloquently than how we say it in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, we’d say something like, ‘Why in God’s name would someone think attacking law enforcement and occupying the United States Capitol is the best way to show you’re right? Why would you do that?’ Rioters and thugs don’t run the Capitol. We’re the United States of America. We disagree on a lot of things, and we have a lot of spirited debate in this room. But we talk it out, and we honor each other—even in our disagreement. That person, that person, that person is not my enemy. That’s my fellow American. And while we disagree on things—and disagree strongly at times—we do not encourage what happened today. Ever."

Before the invasion of the capitol Lankford was part of a small group of senators planning to protest the electoral vote, after the chaos he backed down.

"Obviously, the commission that we have asked for is not going to happen at this point, and I understand that, and we’re headed towards tonight, towards the certification of Joe Biden to be the President of the United States," Lankford said. "And we will work together in this body to be able to set a peaceful example in the days ahead."

Other senators standing down included Senator Steve Daines of Montana, Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia.

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