As turmoil unfolded in the nation's Capitol, Bakersfield Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy went on Fox News and CBS News to condemn the storming of the Capitol building by Trump supporters, telling Fox News "it's not the American way."
When asked by CBS News if he spoke with President Trump, McCarthy said he had and "asked him to talk to the nation to tell them to stop this."
"This is not who we are. We are the beacon of freedom…," McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, said by phone on CBS News. "I don't know who in the crowd is doing this, I know there's good and bad … This has got to stop. This is unacceptable. What the Capitol Police have had to do, the danger it's putting other people in, people are being hurt."
McCarthy, who did not respond to The Californian's requests for an interview Wednesday, told Fox News:
"First of all, this is so un-American. I condemn any of this violence that's happening in the Capitol right now. I could not be sadder, more disappointed with the way our country looks at this very moment. People are getting hurt. Anyone involved in this, if you're hearing me, hear me loud and clear: This is not the American way. This is not protected by the First Amendment. This must stop now. As a nation we've got to come together. This is so unacceptable, what I see happening at this very moment. We can disagree but we do not take it to this level. We do not do what is happening right now."
In an earlier tweet, around 11:45 a.m., McCarthy thanked Capitol Police for "protecting the People's House."
"Protesters have a Constitutionally protected right to be heard, but I urge them to remain peaceful," he wrote.
Speaking on the House floor just before 6:30 p.m., McCarthy condemned the day's violence but praised law enforcement, the National Guard and members of Congress who helped protect the chamber from intruders.
Congress won't be the same after Wednesday's events, he said, but he expressed hope it will emerge better as Americans pause to reflect and agree to respect opposing perspectives.
McCarthy urged members of Congress to be careful about what they post on social media and what they convey. And he asked Congress to solve the nation's problems through debate and to unite in "condemning the mob together."
"Now is the moment," he said. "Now is the moment to show America we can work best together."
"Let me be clear: Mobs don't rule America," he said. "Laws rule America."
Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, also spoke out on the situation, tweeting:
"The behavior of these 'protesters' on the Capitol Complex is absolutely abhorrent. This is un-American. I denounce this behavior to the fullest extent. We are so much better than this."