It was the first press conference that the House Speaker held since the Capitol was raided last week.
Pelosi was speaking about the incident that took place last week when she started crying.
“The general is a respected leader with experience dealing with crises ,” she said, referencing General Russel L. Honoré.
She went on to say how grateful she was for the military officer, before her voice cracked and she said it was a “very emotional time.”
“[I am] very passionate on this assault on our democracy,” she said.
Pelosi said there were “so many disgusting images” from the riots in Washington DC.
She appeared teary-eyed as she spoke of a man wearing a shirt with “Auschwitz” on it during the insurrection.
“Auschwitz,” Pelosi said brokenheartedly, noting the name of the Concentration Camp during World War II. “Work equals freedom. Auschwitz.”
She noted that nearly a year ago in January 2020, she led a congressional delegation to the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial site in Poland on the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.
“On the way to Israel, I brought the delegation to “Ausc –” she said, as her voice cracked, continuing, “Auschwitz and Birkenau.”
“Probably one of the most transformative national security visits that we have made,” Pelosi said.
Her voice wavered as she spoke of the moment she saw the rioter’s shirt at the US Capitol.
“To see the dehumanizing of people that was perpetrated there was so, so overwhelming,” Pelosi said.
“To see this punk with that shirt on and his anti semitism that he has bragged about, to be part of a white supremacist raid on this Capitol, requires us to have an after action review – to assign responsibility to those who were part of organizing it and incentivizing it.” Pelosi said.
Robert Keith Packer – identified by NBC as the man in the hoodie – was charged with unlawful conduct, entering the Capitol without permission and disorderly conduct following the siege.
Pelosi said she is “grateful” to Honoré for making recommendations on keeping Capitol staff safe.
As she spoke, Pelosi said if it were found that members of Congress played a role in the riots, they would also face consequences.
“If in fact it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that,” Pelosi said.
Federal prosecutors so far have arrested at least 100 people in connection with the deadly riots that left five dead.