LA Congresswoman Karen Bass Says Trump Should Be Kicked Out Of Office: 'The Nation Is In Danger Every Day That He Is In The White House'
In the aftermath of Wednesday's siege of the U.S. Capitol by an angry mob egged on by President Trump, Los Angeles Congresswoman Karen Bass, said Thursday that she supports the growing call for the president to be removed from office by invoking the 25th Amendment — although she added that's unlikely to happen becuase so many Republicans are still in what she called Trump's "cult."
In an interview with Mina Kim of KQED, the NPR member station in San Francisco, Bass said that the nation is in danger every day Trump remains in office. Bass, who represents parts of Los Angeles and Culver City and is Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus added her voice to similar statements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Here's Kim's interview with Bass:
Kim: Congresswoman from Los Angeles, Karen Bass. Thanks so much for joining us.
Bass: Thanks for having me on.
Kim: I mean, we are getting word right now from The Washington Post that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is resigning and that she is citing yesterday's events as the reason, in an email to colleagues. Of course, Elaine Chao is married to (current Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell. We've had other resignations, including Mick Mulvaney, Trump's former chief of staff. I just wanted to get your reaction to this.
Bass: Well, better late than never. I mean, I'm glad she's resigning, but I'm not overly impressed. I mean, this is the last 13 days of his administration. How many times does he have to do something like this? This, granted, was the worst. But this is not the first time.
Kim: Well, I want to ask you where this breakdown, this kind of thing, where you're saying better late than never — yesterday, where you think it could lead to anything remotely like a breakthrough.
Bass: Well, I mean, we will see. You know, I saw former Attorney General Barr speak up, having nerve to say that the President abandoned his job, which the Attorney General did the entire time he was the Attorney General.
It would be wonderful, you know? How about instead of resigning, if the members of the Cabinet did go along with the 25th Amendment?
I know a number of my colleagues are calling for that. I would love to see that happen, but I am not encouraged that that would happen because Trump over these last few years has become the leader of a cult. And members of his Cabinet are in that cult.
So I don't have the expectation that they would actually have the dignity and care about the country enough to invoke the 25th Amendment. I wish they would.
Kim: So then, do you think that the nation is in danger under his leadership for the next 13 days or so? And if so, what are we supposed to do about that?
Bass: I actually think the nation is in danger every day that he is in the White House.
And what I do hope, though, is that people that are around him, that are not just, you know, members of his cult, that are in the military and have key national security positions ... I hope that they stay there, and I hope that they help us survive these next 13 days.
Again, the best thing to happen would be for Vice President Pence to call the cabinet together and kick him out. I just don't have a lot of confidence that that would actually happen. They have not shown much dignity and commitment to our country over these last few years, so I don't know why they would now.
Kim: Can you respond to listeners frustrations that we heard on the show today, about Congress taking recess?
Bass: Sure, I can understand, absolutely. I can understand that. We have taken recess until January 20th. But what people should understand, is that when we recess, as opposed to adjourn, we can come back at any point in time.
So the speaker and soon-to-be (Senate) Majority Leader Schumer can call us back on a moment's notice, you know, when you get 24-hour notice and we can come right back.
So if there was some way that my colleagues over in the Senate, two-thirds of them might vote to impeach him ... PI just don't see any reason to think that's gonna happen, when just less than 24 hours ago, they were arguing that the election was invalid!
Kim: Do you feel personally, physically safe going back?
Bass: I feel safe now. And I will tell you, ironically, I told my family not to worry about me. I was gonna be in the safest building in the country yesterday. I'm gonna be in the Capitol. And it turned out, I was in the most dangerous building in the country.
But I think today, things are under control. Security is in place, the barriers are up around the Capitol. And it is just a really tragedy that needs to be investigated as to why this did not take place yesterday.
What happened here? This is one of the most secure buildings in the country. Until it wasn't.
You can listen to the interview here:
This exchange was part of a special hour-long show processing yesterday's events from NPR member station KQED.