The world witnessed the siege of the Capitol on Wednesday as hundreds of President Trump’s supporters stormed inside and interrupted as lawmakers counted electoral votes. One of those lawmakers was Senator Amy Klobuchar. She had just finished an argument when things took a chaotic turn. The Minnesota Democrat joined “CBS This Morning” to give her firsthand account of the events that transpired.
The former 2020 presidential candidate has long been critical of the president and was one of the leading senators who supported impeaching Mr. Trump.
Klobuchar weighed in on the CBS News report that members of the president’s own cabinet are discussing invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office, although nothing official has been presented to Vice President Mike Pence.
“I’m just being realistic about what’s going to happen here. But they better be ready to do that if this continues, because you cannot have a president basically leading an insurrection against our own country’s government,” she told “CBS This Morning” co-hosts Anthony Mason and Gayle King.
Klobuchar called out Republicans who backed the president’s accusations of voter fraud but said that this incident is the tipping point for some of the president’s staunchest supporters.
Read a portion of their conversation below:
Anthony Mason: We’re joined by Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. She’s the top Democrat on the Senate Rules Committee and a member of the Judiciary Committee. Senator, good morning. You must have gone through a terrifying day yesterday. I can only imagine what it was like. Can you describe what you saw as events unfolded on the floor?
Senator Amy Klobuchar: You know, when I hear that, I was not thinking of how it was terrifying for myself, not once. I think it’s terrifying for our country and for our democracy, that we have a president who doesn’t have much longer in office, but a president who literally incited this — who had been inciting it for months. And, he basically sent his supporters down the Mall, and they marched right into that Capitol. I — and I was one of the leaders in leading the debate — I had just finished an argument, asking people, our members, to reject what Senator Cruz was trying to do, which was to claim fraud with regard to the state of Arizona. I think one or two other people spoke, and then we were told there was a breach in the Capitol, and we were taken to another room and we spent the afternoon together — which was, by the way, I think a good thing, watching this on TV because, in the end, democracy prevailed. And we won, I think, 93 senators rejected this scurrilous argument that there had been fraud in the election.
Mason: Were you only aware of what was happening at the Capitol by watching it on television?
Klobuchar: Pretty much. I was, of course, in contact with my staff. And mostly our goal, my goal, was to get back to where we were. Knowing that people — I mean, there were literally protesters had taken over the dais in the Senate — people were rummaging through desks. But we wanted to get back in there. Why? We were very aware that, as you point out, it wasn’t since 1814, I think, Tony just suggested, that our Capitol had been taken over like this, that time by a foreign force. And we had to get back in there to show the American people that as horrific as this was, that the government was still functioning and we were going to finish our work and that we were going to get those votes counted and make very clear that Joe Biden was going to be the next president of the United States.
Gayle King: I know Senator Klobuchar, as jarring as it was, it was very, I have to say, gratifying to see you all come back in and you made the final declaration that Joe Biden was in fact going to be president. As we all knew for quite some time now. It was great to see it at 3:39 a.m.
Klobuchar: Yeah, I was there.
King: I was watching you. But now there’s a discussion among President Trump’s cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment — I’m wondering your thoughts on that. Do you think that’s necessary, and would you support it?
Klobuchar: Well, first of all, to make clear, I supported impeaching this president because of his violation, what I believe has been a violation of the law many, many times, including with what he just did now. The 25th Amendment doesn’t as much involve me. It could eventually, but it involves his own cabinet. You would have to have a majority of the cabinet, vice president, joining in to remove him. That is going to be up to them. And I think so much of this depends on —
King: I know it involves them, but would you support that? Are you someone who would say now is the time?
Klobuchar: I was making clear, Gayle, I supported impeaching him, removing him from office and I’m just being realistic about what’s going to happen here. But they better be ready to do that if this continues, because you cannot have a president basically leading an insurrection against our own country’s government.
King: Do you think maybe for the first time, Senator Klobuchar, that maybe even his staunchest allies have said enough? Even Senator Graham, I wonder if you had a chance to talk to him, he said “count me out, enough is enough.” Joe Biden said yesterday, “Step up, Mr. President and condemn this. America, stand up.” Do you think that finally maybe this is a tipping point that something will be done with President Trump?
Klobuchar: I think it is a tipping point for these people that have stood by him for way too long, allowed him to go after people, divide people, and they were finally last night when I think they saw the fruits of everything they had done and all of the enabling literally invading the temple of our democracy, desecrating it right in front of their eyes, and that seemed to have flipped a switch. So what does that lead to, Gayle? I don’t know because we only have a few weeks here. Literally, less than that before Joe and Kamala are inaugurated.
Mason: Thirteen days, senator.
Klobuchar: I have been counting down myself, 13 days.
Mason: We have an inauguration in 13 days. The president is still in the White House. He’s still saying the election was rigged. Are you concerned about security in Washington, and are you concerned about security at the inauguration? You’re part of the — you’re planning the inauguration.
Klobuchar: Of course I am, but I also know that what happened there was clearly a breach of planning, which led to a breach of security. There’s going to have to be major, major reviews of what happened and changes made. At the inauguration, I would very much hope for major changes there in terms of beefing up security. I will say that is an event that they are used to having major security at, national guard at, all kinds of security measures that have been taken every four years, time and time again. So they must be prepared for that. But what was going on here is they had, yes, an event that usually goes along with little historical note. No fanfare, the counting of these ballots, but they knew on social media that the president had been whipping them up. They knew it.
Klobuchar: Mob at Capitol a “tipping point” for Trump’s supporters The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ CBS News.