‘Street fighter’ Nancy Pelosi said she was ready to do battle with Capitol rioters: ‘I’m pretty tough’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview published Wednesday that if rioters had encountered her during their breach of the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, they would have met a “street fighter” giving them all they could handle.

“That’s what they were setting out to do,” Pelosi told USA Today in stating that rioters planned to get to her and other political leaders including Vice President Mike Pence.

What would have happened if they succeeded, the California Democrat was asked.

“Well, I’m pretty tough. I’m a street fighter. They would have had a battle on their hands,” Pelosi, 81, added.

As rioters entered the building on the day Congress was meeting to certify the electoral college ballots for then-President-elect Joe Biden, congressional members were evacuated, some in gas masks, after Capitol Police were unable to stop the crowd.

One of the people who breached the Capitol, Richard “Bigo” Barnett, was pictured in a photo that went viral with one of his feet up on Pelosi’s desk. He was reportedly carrying a stun gun at the time.

Barnett and several others arrested in connection with the riot remain behind bars, according to reports. There have been complaints from some of them that they are being mistreated by guards at the Washington, D.C. jail where they are being held. 

“Myself and others involved in the Jan. 6 incident are scared for their lives, not from each other but from correctional officers,” Ronald Sandlin said during a bail hearing by video before U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich last week.

Regarding the riot, reports on Wednesday revealed that there was much more planning involved than previously known and that Capitol Police were aware of what was coming but were nonetheless told to stand down by commanders.

“A new report by the Capitol Police’s internal watchdog found that department leaders overlooked key intelligence in the run-up to the riot on Jan. 6, including a warning that ‘Congress itself is the target,’ and barred the force’s riot response unit from using its most powerful crowd-control measures,” The New York Times reported.

“The 104-page document, entitled ‘Review of the Events Surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Takeover of the U.S. Capitol,’ is the most searing portrait yet of the lapses and miscalculations around the most violent attack on the Capitol in two centuries,” The Times continued. “It adds significant new detail not unearthed in congressional hearings and is likely to inform a coming overhaul of the agency promised by lawmakers.”

To that point, Pelosi has been singled out by Republicans for lax security the day of the riot, since she is largely responsible for it as House Speaker.

In mid-February, a group of GOP lawmakers questioned in a letter to Pelosi why key security requests including pre-positioning of National Guard troops were either discounted or turned down altogether.

“Five weeks have passed since the January 6th attack on the Capitol building, and many important questions about your responsibility for the security of the Capitol remain unanswered,” read the letter, which also contained several questions the lawmakers wanted to be answered.

Meanwhile, Twitter users seemed amused at the idea of Pelosi taking on the rioters as a “street fighter.”

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Jon Dougherty

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