House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday told a British audience that the political environment in the U.S. that led to the Jan. 6 riot was similar to the Civil War era.
Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, made the remarks in a livestreamed forum in London with Robin Niblett, Director of the British think tank Chatham House.
The host noted that the most recent presidential transition in the U.S. was “rough and tumble.”
Mrs. Pelosi then launched into a Civil War analogy.
“There’ve been in the past the rough and tumble of politics, but nothing like what we are suffering now. I mean, of course, there was a Civil War,” she said. “But in terms of politics, at the time of the civil war, President Lincoln was building the dome of the Capitol — this symbol of democracy for the world, a beacon of hope to the world.”
She continued, “The fact that that dome with all of its symbolism and all that went into constructing it at a time of disunity in our country would be assaulted the way it was, was not just an assault on a physical structure. It was on an institution.”
The speaker also told Dr. Nibblet that she believes the events that happened that day were rooted in “white supremacy, antisemitism, and Islamophobia.”
She said the threat persists and referenced the “Justice for J6” rally scheduled for Saturday at the Capitol.
The demonstration, which is being led by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard’s nonprofit “Look Ahead America,” was organized to spotlight the ongoing imprisonment and alleged mistreatment of people charged in connection with breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Mrs. Pelosi noted that FBI Director Christopher Wray said the U.S. “is more at risk from domestic terrorism than from global terrorism.” She added, “Imagine that, so this is different from a political disagreement, which is like nothing compared to the challenge to our democracy manifested that day, which might be manifested this weekend again in some way.”
Mrs. Pelosi is on a tour of the U.K. and met Thursday with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.