WASHINGTON, D.C. — A South Florida lawmaker who's barricaded in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday is calling the breach of the U.S. Capitol "un-American" and "anti-Patriotic."
U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Florida, spoke to WPTV anchor Michael Williams while locked inside his office at the Rayburn House Office Building.
Rep. Mast, whose district represents Martin and St. Lucie counties, as well as a portion of northern Palm Beach County, said he had just finished speaking on the House floor on Wednesday and had returned to his office when he learned that protesters had stormed the Capitol Building.
"As I was going out one door, it must have been right about as those protesters were coming in a different door," Mast said. "I didn't realize it was happening until I returned to my office."
WATCH INTERVIEW WITH REP. MAST:
The violence and unrest came during a joint session of Congress to confirm the Electoral College's vote which named President-elect Joe Biden victorious in the November election.
"This is un-American. This is putting our law enforcement officers at risk. It needs to come to an end immediately," Mast said.
The congressman added that he was surprised to see the violence escalate so quickly, calling this major and historic breach of security "counterproductive" to the Democratic process.
"There are a number of layers of security. Yes, I'm totally surprised to see that action taken," Mast said.
Despite the chaos in Washington, Rep. Mast said he has no plans to withdraw his objection to the certification of votes in states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
"While I disagree with absolutely everything that's going on outside the building that I'm in here, that does not change the concerns that I have about the state Constitutions and the state's laws that were violated in several states," Mast said.
The congressman said the vote certification process will resume, although he's not sure when. Until then, he's imploring President Donald Trump to tell his supporters that putting lives in danger is not the Democratic process.
"We are a country that is better than this," Mast said. "We're bigger than what is happening right there with those breaches within the Capitol."