WASHINGTON – Rep. Mikie Sherrill said Thursday that too many people overlooked former U.S. President Donald Trump's antisemitism for their own self-interest, arguing that those willing to tolerate Trump's behavior were arguably worse than true believers.
"I think we need to understand that too many people let him get away with the little things," the second-term Democratic congresswoman from New Jersey told an Anti-Defamation League webinar. "It just became the nature of too many people in elected office to not stand up as things got bigger. When we look at the fact that so many were willing to turn a blind eye to his racism, to his antisemitism, to his hatred, if their taxes were lowered or if he had a policy with respect to foreign affairs that they agreed with, or if they just felt compelled by that hatred," she continued.
"I've been thinking in my mind – which is worse? That there are so many people that really bought into it and are true believers of this hatred and ideology, or is it worse that we have people that I think aren't believers in it, and yet were willing to tolerate it?"
Sherril is a former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot and one of the "gang of nine" national security veterans who entered the last session of Congress as freshmen. She, along with Rep. Jackie Speier, are seeking to start a commission to investigate the leadup to the violence at the Capitol.
"We have to get to the bottom of these questions. What happened? Why did it happen? Where were the moments that intervention could have made a difference? What are we going to do about social media and that drive of people as you start to get more extreme views? What are we going to do about the 24 hour news cycle? What are we going to do about misstatements from people in power?"
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that lawmakers would be prosecuted if anyone was found to have aided and abetted insurrectionists prior to the riots.