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Pelosi said in new Jan. 6 video she wanted to 'punch' Trump out

The House speaker said she wanted Trump to come to the Capitol so that she could "punch him out." She added, "And I’m going to go to jail, and I’m going to be happy.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a press conference in the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 10, 2022.Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol that she hoped then-President Donald Trump would come to the complex so that she could "punch him out."

Pelosi's daughter, documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, captured the moment and many others on Jan. 6 in footage shot for HBO and first obtained by CNN. It aired a few hours after the House select committee investigating the attack played other clips from the footage during its ninth hearing Thursday.

"Tell him if he comes here, we’re going to the White House," the speaker jokes, reacting to Trump's speech at the White House ellipse earlier in the day.

Another clip shows Pelosi speaking to her staff as a crowd began to amass at the Capitol. In it, Pelosi's chief of staff, Terri McCullough, informs the speaker that the Secret Service had "dissuaded" Trump from coming to Capitol Hill to join his supporters.

"They told him they don't have the resources to protect him here," McCullough says. "So at the moment, he is not coming, but that could change."

"I hope he comes," Pelosi responds. "I want to punch him out. This is my moment. I’ve been waiting for this. For trespassing on the Capitol grounds. I want to punch him out, and I’m going to go to jail, and I’m going to be happy."

The video aired by CNN showed other clips, similar to those played during the hearing, featuring Pelosi and other congressional leaders as they scrambled to get help as the Capitol was under siege.

The montage presented during the hearing showed congressional leaders pleading for help from governors, the acting secretary of defense and the acting attorney general as rioters attacked the Capitol.

"I’m going to call up the effing secretary of DoD," then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in the montage, referring to the Department of Defense, while sitting with Pelosi in an undisclosed room at 3 p.m. The two Democratic leaders were seen calling then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on Schumer’s flip phone, requesting a “massive” response.

The video at the hearing also showed Pelosi speaking to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in which she wondered if he could deploy his state’s National Guard troops to the Capitol. She told Northam that House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., was making the same request of Maryland's Gov. Larry Hogan. Schumer and Pelosi were also seen on the phone with acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen asking for him to get Trump to call off his supporters.

“Why don’t you get the president to tell them to leave the Capitol, Mr. Attorney General, in your law enforcement responsibility — a public statement they should all leave?” Schumer said.

The footage also showed Pelosi speaking to Vice President Mike Pence by phone two separate times that day about how they could resume the certification of the 2020 election results.

In additional footage obtained by NBC News that was not shown during the hearing, Pelosi, Schumer and other leaders can be seen in an extended debate on whether to reconvene the Congress at Fort McNair and finish the proceedings immediately or wait perhaps “days” until the Capitol could be secured. Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had conveyed that he wanted lawmakers to return to the Capitol as soon as possible to show that the insurrectionists had not succeeded.

“The overwhelming thing we have to do is validate the presidency,” Pelosi told her fellow leaders as they hunkered down in a secure site at Fort McNair. “That weighs against whether we do it in the Capitol or we do it down the hall here.”  

Eventually, members returned to the Capitol at a little after 7 p.m. to finish the process.

Pelosi and Trump had a highly strained relationship throughout his presidency, which included the moment in 2019 when she and other Democratic leaders walked out of a White House meeting with Trump after he had what Pelosi described as a "meltdown." At the end of Trump's third State of the Union address in 2020, Pelosi famously ripped up a copy of his address.