LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Arkansas, hid on a toilet with a sword during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in January, according to a New York Times article published Monday.
The U.S. House chamber was evacuated Jan. 6 as pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol. The siege came after former President Donald Trump hosted a rally where he called for his supporters to "fight like hell” against election results and invited them to walk to the Capitol.
After being evacuated, Westerman and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly hid in McCarthy’s office. But when rioters began breaking into the building, McCarthy’s security detail had him leave Westerman behind.
“For protection, Mr. Westerman said he commandeered a Civil War sword from an office display, barricaded himself in Mr. McCarthy’s private bathroom and waited out the siege while crouched on the toilet,” The New York Times reported.
During the riot, Westerman tweeted, "Americans will always disagree on politics, but violently storming our nation’s Capitol is absolutely unacceptable. People are getting hurt. Enough."
It is unknown if Westerman was in McCarthy’s bathroom at that point. His spokesperson said he was unavailable on Tuesday to comment on The New York Times' report.
Arkansas leaders from both parties largely condemned the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Arkansas, said it was a “very dark day in Washington” from an office inside the U.S. Capitol shortly after the siege.