Gianforte: U.S. Capitol protests "jarring," "a sad, tragic day"

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 12:12:46-05

HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte says he was shocked by what happened Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol, where he represented Montana until last week.

“Yesterday was a sad, tragic day for America,” he said “Our U.S. Capitol was under siege; our very democracy was under siege.”

The day after protesters supporting President Trump broke into the Capitol, Gianforte addressed the events during a news conference in Helena.

Before becoming governor, Gianforte served more than three years as Montana’s lone U.S. House member. He said Thursday that seeing the images from the Capitol was “jarring.” He said he was exchanging text messages with former House colleagues, including some who were on the floor at the time.

Gianforte described the protesters as a “violent mob,” and said that type of action had no place in a civil society.

“I was pleased that the president said, ‘Go home,’” he said. “There probably could have been a stronger statement made there. I’m glad it’s over, and I look forward to a peaceful transfer of power on the 20th of this month.”

Gianforte said he was pleased demonstrations in Montana Wednesday remained peaceful, and that he still feels safe in the State Capitol.

“I think the country could take a page out of Montana’s book,” he said.