CNN released never-before-seen footage of Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, of California, saying she'd punch then-President Donald Trump if he followed through on his threat to come to the United States Capitol on Janaury 6, 2021.
Pelosi's remark was a reaction to a speech Trump gave at the "Stop the Steal" rally just before a mob of his supporters attacked the Capitol on the false premise the 2020 general election was stolen. Trump encouraged his supporters to "fight like hell" because if "you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Trump's remarks that day have been pivotal to the investigation by the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the insurrection. It is evident Pelosi was completely aware of the seriousness of the situation—and undeterred—as it unfolded in real time.
You can hear what Pelosi said in the video below.
After Pelosi's Chief of Staff Terri McCullough informed her the Secret Service dissauded Trump from marching on the Capitol but "that could change," Pelosi responded:
“I hope he comes. I’m going to punch him out."
"I’ve been waiting for this. For trespassing on the Capitol grounds."
"I’m going to punch him out. And I’m going to go to jail, and I’m going to be happy.”
As far as social media users were concerned, Pelosi was simply saying what everyone already had on their minds.
The footage—particularly the remark from McCullough that the Secret Service wanted Trump to stand down—helped corroborate this summer's testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Hutchinson offered further insight into Trump's mindset that day, notably he was aware of and supported the plan to attack the nation's seat of government.
According to Hutchinson, Trump was "angry" the Secret Service was not allowing people who had arrived armed with weapons into the event. The footage shows Trump saying he "would love it if they could be allowed to come up here with us."
Hutchinson also said she heard Trump say those in attendance were "not here to hurt me" and demanded his security people "Let my people in" so they could "march to the Capitol after the rally's over."
In perhaps her testimony's most striking moment, Hutchinson told the House Select Committee a Secret Service agent told her Trump had gotten into a physical altercation when he attempted to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limousine.
By Hutchinson's recollection, the Secret Service agent said Trump had wanted to go to the Capitol and have a front row seat to the attack, further underscoring how he had incited the violence that left at least five people dead and resulted in over 100 injuries to law enforcement and millions of dollars in damages.