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House Freedom Caucus

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Protesters in Washington DC breached the U.S. Capitol building today and disrupted legislative proceedings that were in progress.  One person was reportedly shot during the chaos.

WBT’s Mark Garrison was able to connect by phone with North Carolina Congressman Dan Bishop from the ‘safe location’ he was evacuated to with other members of the legislature.

Congressman Bishop was in the Capitol Building involved in debate on the certification of Arizona’s electoral votes from the November presidential election.

According to Bishop, commotion was heard and Capitol Police appeared to secure the area. A member of the security team advised the members that the Capitol had been breached and to be prepared to use the gas masks that are stored under the chamber seats.

Bishop said, “there were a couple of loud bangs that I thought at the moment were somebody pounding on the outside of one of the doors, maybe with something.  And then they had us evacuate through the Speaker’s lobby” to a safe location.”

Most astonishingly, Bishop relayed that during the evacuation another Representative told him, “two live rounds were shot into the chamber that went past his head.  So, I was not near that.  But, obviously the use of violence is very serious at the Capitol, and it is utterly wrong and it should be met with all necessary force.  And, that conduct should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  There is no place in our Republic for that.”

RELATED: Trump Protesters Storm U.S. Capitol

Garrison asked Bishop to clarify that he did not hear the shots himself but, rather, was told about them by a colleague.  “That’s what he reported.  And, so, I would still say we are a bit sealed off from being able to experience most of what has occurred.  I’m learning more about it on Twitter than I have by anything that we have experienced.  But, that’s what he said, and I want to emphasize that’s a couple of people removed and whether he evaluated it accurately or not, I don’t know.”

After Bishop stated that, from what he had seen on Twitter, the Senate Chamber was fully occupied by rioters, Garrison asked the Congressman, “Were you afraid?  Have you been afraid?”, to which Bishop replied, “I really have not been.  I could certainly see a set of circumstances changing pretty dramatically under which I would be.  But I have not felt cause to be fearful for my personal safety.”

Bishop took the opportunity to state that, “This Government will not be intimidated or prevented from carrying on its purposes and processes by thugs.”

When asked by Garrison whether he felt that President Trump bears any responsibility for the actions of the protesters, Bishop responded, “It’s a fair question under these circumstances.  I would condemn any elected official either outright saying, or through innuendo suggesting, that any person should use violence against anybody else, certainly, including government.  But I do think it’s important also to say you cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated from addressing the issues that are before us, difficult though they may be, and speaking up for the people that we represent for fear that someone will do the wrong thing and use violence.  I can’t think of a surer path to wide-spread violence than for this government that operates peacefully but works through very divisive and, you know, life-changing issues, it has to go on.  Some politicians use the specter of that as a tool of intimidation, and that’s wrong, too.”

“So, in other words to be clear, you don’t think the President is responsible for encouraging this?”, Garrison asked.  “I haven’t heard what you described the President as having said.  I haven’t heard his words.  I’d have to evaluate them before I knew.  I certainly am not endorsing that idea.”

Bishop then apologized for cutting the interview short, as it appeared an announcement of some kind was being made to the group he was a assembled with.  “I’ll get back with you.”

Listen to the full report from Mark Garrison here: