WASHINGTON — Congressman Scott Fitzgerald is talking to TMJ4 for the first time since the chaos at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
It also happened to be his first week in Washington for the newly-elected Republican Congressman.
- 'This is un-American': Wisconsin native and Congressman describes first-hand the riot inside the Capitol
"It absolutely was a tragic event, " said Congressman Fitzgerald about the chaotic moments during an interview with TMJ4's Charles Benson.
He was inside the House chamber when rioters tried to break thru the doors.
"It was scary, it was a very scary time during that whole event," said Fitzgerald
Benson: "Did you fear for your life?"
Rep. Fitzgerald: "I think we did when we heard gunshots."
He questions why there was a breakdown in security, but he also holds President Trump accountable for what happened.
"Yeah, some of that language he (President Trump) used and Rudy Giuliani, was unacceptable, to encourage people, to kind of march to the Capitol, and take this kind of action."
The Juneau Republican says he doesn't regret his vote to overthrow Joe Biden's election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, even though it had no chance of succeeding.
In Wisconsin, the former Senate Majority leader questions the impact the pandemic had on the election process - not just in November, but April.
"How the votes were counted? How they were collected? How they were issued, that were affected directly by the pandemic," said Fitzgerald. "I think it had an effect on the outcome. I'm not saying it would have swung an election one way or the other. I don't think anybody can determine that."
Benson: "Do you believe the election was stolen?"
Rep Fitzgerald: "No, it had an effect on all elections including the 5th Congressional - 50,000 more votes than the previous election four years ago."
Fitzgerald says he opposes the growing effort by Democrats to impeach President Trump after this week's chaos.
Benson: "The president today decided not to go to the Inauguration - does that send the wrong message?"
Rep: Fitzgerald: "I do think that there's probably an opportunity missed to demonstrate to the entire world that's watching that the democracy here in this country, is strong."
U.S Senator Tammy Baldwin slammed the president's decision not to attend the inauguration. The Wisconsin Democrat tweeted: "He has no respect for the will of voters, has no commitment to the peaceful transfer of power, and that he is unfit and unwilling to keep his oath to support and defend our constitution."
President Trump will be the first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson 152 years ago, to skip his successor's inauguration. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend, but no decision has been made.