“It was just kind of instinctive. I really didn’t like thinking about it, I just wanted to do something,” the New Jersey Democrat told CNN. “I really really felt like I should try to play a role only in fixing this mess that happened.”
“We had this really incredibly tough debate that unfolded. Everyone was very emotional, still, really quite shaken, still,” Kim said.
Early Thursday morning, he decided to walk around the building, which was still littered with broken glass and other debris.
“I went back to the Rotunda and I was just devastated by what I saw, just the absolutely terrible condition it was in – the rubbish and debris above the statues, the floor, some of the benches were crooked and there was a lot of broken furniture, broken American flags and various elements. “
He saw a policeman throwing away a box of pizza and asked him if there were any more garbage bags.
He then took the trash to the Capitol Rotunda and the National Statue Hall.
A photographer took pictures of Kim working and they were widely shared on social media.
At one point, Kim passed a plaque marking the cornerstone erected by President George Washington.
“A moment like this really reminds me that this building is bigger than all of us, democracy is bigger than all of us, and it deserves and demands our respect,” Kim said.
Kim is the son of Korean immigrants and said he is humble to represent New Jersey’s 3rd district, which President Trump won in 2016 and 2020. He is also awe-inspiring to work in the Capitol, which he called “the temple of our democracy.” “.
“If anyone feels the ability to desecrate our Capitol, to bring a Confederate flag into this building and proudly wave it, it’s someone, these are people who don’t respect the government,” Kim said. “They don’t have the same humility we should have. These are people who are not inspired by this building and don’t understand what went into it, what kept it.”
“We need to take urgent action, but that will not fix everything,” he said.
He said it was vital to work to restore Americans’ respect for the government and each other.
“I hope so, but I’m not naive. I understand the deep challenges we face,” Kim said.