TAMPA, Fla. - As the United States Capitol Building was locked-down after protests turned to violence Wednesday, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL14) was told to stay inside her office in the Congressional office building.
"It’s outrageous that folks are trying to disrupt a peaceful transfer of power from one president to another, Castor told FOX 13's Evan Axelbank. "That's what makes America America."
The White House said National Guard troops and federal protective services were en route to the Capitol to help end the violent occupation by President Donald Trump's supporters who seek to prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Castor said the people who stormed the Capitol Building were not protesteres. She said the group, "is largely a group of white nationalists, racists, being egged on by a defeated President of the United States."
Castor said the president is "completely out of touch with reality" and called the erruption of violence a "distraction from the crisis that is in front of us, and that's COVID-19 and the ability to get our population vaccinated... It's unfortunate, all the way around."
Officials anticipated protests in the nation's capitol Wednesday ahead of the meeting of Congrees. Castor said members of the House of Representatives were told to show up early to avoid any trouble.
Above all, Castor said she and her colleagues were eager to do their contsitutional duty to hear each state's challenges and then hold a vote.
"They're trying to disrupt that," Castor said. "I've been around here for for a number of years I did see some protest over the war in Iraq. There are always some individual protesters and folks who are mad at the Congress and mad at their government but I've never ever seen anything like this, especially when the defeated President of the United States, and the ego maniac is trying to foment violence against this democracy. It's really just unfathomable that we're in this place today."
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL13) tweeted Wednesday that the president should be removed from office.
But despite what Castor called a distrcation going on in the nation's capitol, she said she is still committed to doing the will of the voters.
"Democrats and a number of Republicans, we are going to take the vote on the electoral college pursuant to the constitution and ensure that the people's voices are effectuated and that is Joe Biden elected as president and Kamala Harris elected his vice president. The people have spoken and it is outrageous that the defeated President of the United States is trying to disrupt that peaceful transfer power," Castor said.
Castor commended Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for calling on members of Congress to follow that will of the people.
"That was their constitutional responsibility and kudos to them for following the Constitution and for leader McConnell to follow the oath he has taken to the Constitution. This is what Americans expect and this is what is going to happen, no matter how many hours it takes us today, to get through the debate and and the challenges by a minority of the GOP, egged on by a defeated president. We're going to get there. It's simply a matter of time," Castor said.