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Congressman Andy Barr reacts to assault on nation’s capitol

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 6:09 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A lot has happened in the hours after yesterday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol, and lawmakers around the state are still responding to the events in Washington. Our Victor Puente spoke with Congressman Andy Barr about the historic day.

“Yesterday was a sad day in many respects for our country just because that is not America. That is not the United States to see us deal with violence at the Capitol building. That’s not who we are as a country,” said Congressman Andy Barr.

Barr says he understood that there were frustrations tied to the 2020 election, but he also believes what happened yesterday was just wrong.

“We resolve our differences at the ballot box and through our Democratic institutions, not through violence. Whether it was storming the Capitol or some of the events that we’ve seen in Portland over the summer in other cities,” Barr said.

Some of Barr’s colleagues, including Representative John Yarmuth from Louisville, said President Donald Trump incited that crowd, by continuing to push the narrative that the 2020 election was stolen.

“I think that some of the president’s language was regrettable. I also believe that we cannot ignore some of the major problems that occurred during the 2020 election with the allegations of fraud and irregularities that may very well stoke this sense of distrust. But in either case, none of that is an excuse for violence or storming the Capitol or vandalizing public buildings. No matter how badly you feel about the outcome of the election, or maybe you feel that the system is rigged against you, or maybe our society has mistreated certain minority group or another. None of that justifies violence,” Barr said.

Despite those claims from the president, no strong evidence of voter fraud has been found. And courts across the country have rejected his arguments.

Hours after the assault began, Congress reconvened to finish counting the electoral votes.

While some Republicans objected to that count, Barr says the Constitution made his role clear.

“That our presidents are elected by the people through the states, through our Electoral College system. Not by a small group of politicians in Washington D.C.,” Barr said.

He also said taking power away from the Electoral College could hurt the smaller states, like Kentucky.

He believes while people are struggling, the coming days are a change for Americans to pull together.

“I know that many Americans are frustrated with the outcome of the election. I am one of them, I didn’t support President-elect Biden or Vice President-elect Harris but nevertheless what makes our country great is the transition of power and recognition that we can fight another day, that we can fight another day for our principles and our beliefs,” Barr said.

Before WKYT’s Victor Puente spoke with Barr, we were told the one topic Barr wouldn’t comment on was the potential use of the 25th Amendment, which some lawmakers have said could be used to remove President Trump from office before his term expires.

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