https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/551412-manchin-when-protesters-first-entered-capitol-my-intention-was-to-stay-and

West Virginia Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSunday shows preview: Biden hits the road to promote infrastructure proposals; US begins withdrawal from Afghanistan Manchin says he doesn’t support DC statehood, election reform bills Manchin, Sinema filibuster support scores political points back home, GOP poll shows MORE (D) revealed in a new interview that he wanted to “stay and fight” during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 before the situation escalated and he was ushered away by law enforcement officials.

“My intention was to stay and fight: ‘Let ‘em in. Let’s go at it.’ But I didn’t know what was going on,” Manchin told USA Today. “You had a lot of people chanting. I didn’t think anything of that. But within 10 or 15 minutes, a SWAT team comes in with all of their gear and says ‘You guys are out of here. Just go now. Don’t even stop.'”

A violent mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol building on Jan. 6 in an effort to disrupt Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote in the race for the White House between former President TrumpDonald TrumpHow the United States can pass Civics 101 Elon Musk asks Twitter for skit ideas ahead of ‘Saturday Night Live’ appearance States now flush with cash after depths of pandemic MORE and President BidenJoe BidenFires, smoke, floods, droughts, storms, heat: America needs a climate resilience strategy Sen. Susan Collins pushes back 28 percent corporate tax rate, saying jobs would be lost Biden economic adviser frames infrastructure plan as necessary investment MORE.

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Five people died in the wake of the riot, including Capitol Police Office Brian Sicknick.

The riot resulted in members of Congress, former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceHarris to spearhead National Space Council The Afghanistan withdrawal that could have been The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden’s wide-ranging NBC interview MORE, staff and reporters scrambling for safety on Capitol Hill.

Manchin noted in the interview with USA Today, released on Sunday, that he previously “got along well” with Trump, saying that “He called me all the time. We talked back and forth.”

But Manchin added that Trump “liked conflicts and he liked that turmoil. And that’s fine if you’re in business. But for public service, it doesn’t work. The whole principle of public service is to bring people together to get a consensus. And Donald Trump’s not made that way.” 

“So when I started coming to that conclusion, I’m thinking that’s just a lot of rhetoric. I didn’t know there was that type of fever and pent-up hatred in people he allowed them to unleash,” Manchin continued.

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The West Virginia lawmaker, a staunch centrist in the upper chamber divided 50-50 among Democrats and Republicans, said the Capitol riots also motivated him from a policy perspective.

He told USA Today that the insurrection “gave me more determination” to fight for the legislative filibuster.

“If you want to lose it completely and you want to be a government that was not how we were formed to try to form a more perfect union – not perfect, but more perfect – this is not the way to do it,” Manchin told the outlet.

Many Democratic lawmakers have called for ending the Senate’s legislative filibuster, a 60-vote threshold for bills, to pass major legislation, including voting rights bills and more. Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaManchin says he doesn’t support DC statehood, election reform bills Manchin, Sinema filibuster support scores political points back home, GOP poll shows Americans for Prosperity launches campaign targeting six Democrats to oppose ending filibuster MORE (D-Ariz.) are both on the record opposing getting rid of the filibuster.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFrom McConaughey to Jenner, ‘Trump effect’ propels Hollywood’s political hopefuls GOP frustration with Liz Cheney ‘at a boiling point’ McConnell wants ‘1619 Project’ removed from federal grant programs MORE (R-Ky.) has vowed a “nuclear war” that would bring the Senate to a halt if Democrats get rid of the filibuster.

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