Violent protesters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.
John Minchillo/AP Images

Since a mob breached the Capitol in Washington Jan. 6, Princeton alumni have been contributing to the national discussion. Here are some of the things they’ve had to say:

“I mean, this is insane. I have not seen anything like this since I deployed to Iraq in 2007 and 2008. I mean, this is America and this is what’s happening right now. The president needs to call it off. Call it off. Call it off. It’s over. The election’s over. And the objectors need to stop meddling with the primal forces of our democracy here. They need to stop it. There is a cost. They think they’re just having a protest debate and they can get away with it because it’s not actually going to overturn the election. Well, now we’re seeing the cost of that play out in real time. And if we don’t think other countries around the world are watching this happen right now, if we don’t think the Chinese Communist Party is sitting back and laughing, then we’re deluding ourselves.”

— Rep. Mike Gallagher ’06 (R-WI) talking over live footage of the Capitol in mid-afternoon on Jan. 6. — CNN

“The Trump-Hawley-Cruz insurrection against constitutional government will be an indelible stain on the nation. They, however, will not be so permanent. In 14 days, one of them will be removed from office by the constitutional processes he neither fathoms nor favors. It will take longer to scrub the other two from public life. Until that hygienic outcome is accomplished, from this day forward, everything they say or do or advocate should be disregarded as patent attempts to distract attention from the lurid fact of what they have become. Each will wear a scarlet ‘S’ as a seditionist.” 

— Columnist George Will *68, calling Sen. Ted Cruz ’92 (R-TX) one of “the three repulsive architects of Wednesday’s heartbreaking spectacle.” — The Washington Post

“The movement is obviously defined by far more than one day. If anything, one person I talked to in the crowd gave voice to how these people feel. They say, ‘I’m a born-again American.’ … They see exactly what the anti-American left has done for our country.” 

— Fox News host Pete Hegseth ’03 sympathizing with the rioters, saying it exposed the “anti-American left.” — The Hill

“I asked myself the question, who has the right to protest in this country? And what was very clear to me is that there is a sense that some people, who happen to be white, are accorded the rights of citizenship and the right to dissent, and others are expected to be grateful. And that was in clear view yesterday in terms of how the police responded to a mob, an insurrection, in effect.”

— Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. *97, chair of Princeton’s Department of African American Studies, comparing the violence at the Capitol with protests by the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer. — NPR’s Morning Edition

“Stop stoking division. Stop spreading hatred. Stop using malicious rhetoric (such as false & reckless charges of “sedition”). Stop showing contempt for the half of the country that disagrees with you. Violence is wrong. We can do better. We are one Nation.”

— Sen. Ted Cruz ’92 tweeting at his 2018 rival, former congressman Beto O’Rourke, who attacked him for a “self serving attempt at sedition” — rejecting electors — that he said incited the violence. — The Washington Post

“There’s some contingencies, though, because with bureaucracies… there’s always red tape. And the process is a bit convoluted. President Trump could then appeal through a letter and say, ‘Actually, I am still fit for office,’ at which point then Pence and team, cabinet, could then respond and allow for Congress to ultimately decide. You’ve got a period of about three weeks that could be looming over all of that. So this could be a longer process, but not anywhere near as long as an impeachment could be.”

— CNN analyst Laura Coates ’01 on reports that some cabinet members have talked about using the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. — CNN

Have you seen or heard another alum in the news? Send us the story at