Pelosi Smiles When Asked About ‘Mob’ Tearing Down Statues: ‘People Will Do What They Do’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a press conference on Thursday effectively gave anti-racism protesters permission to continue illegally tearing down historic statues. 

Asked by a reporter about the toppling of a Christopher Columbus statue in her native Baltimore on July 4, Pelosi, a California Democrat, said the act of vandalism does not "diminish my pride in my Italian-American heritage."
  • "I don't care that much about statues," she added, referring to a nationwide spate of monument destruction in the name of fighting racism. 
  • When pressed on whether statue removal shouldn't be conducted through a formal democratic process rather than by "a mob in the middle of the night," Pelosi said: "People will do what they do."
Pelosi also reiterated her support for removing statues of Confederate "traitors" from the Capitol.
  • Last month, she took down portraits of Confederate former speakers that have long hung in the building. 
The reaction: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, who on Sunday called for Baltimore officials to "regain control of their own streets," slammed Pelosi's comments on Thursday.

"It's disappointing that Speaker Pelosi has lost touch with the Baltimore community that her family served," he said on Twitter, alluding to her family's historic role in governing the city.
  Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, A Democrat, on Thursday warned those who toppled the Columbus monument near the city's Little Italy neighborhood that “if we identify them, they will be brought to justice.”
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