Interview with Assemblywoman Annie Black starts in the second half of the podcast…
Annie In the News
Annie went back into the lion’s den to discuss the January 6 rally in Washington, DC.
Some fiery exchanges with one of the hosts, but Annie stood her ground. As listener Cory McMan put it…
“I just wanted to send you a note in show of support after hearing your interview on The Vegas Take radio show. You were treated very unfairly by the host, Brian Shapiro, but you handled yourself very respectfully and it was encouraging to hear your strength during the interview. Thank you for your service and please remain positive and confident in what you are doing.”
Thank you, Cory!
Interview with Annie starts at around the 21-minute mark…
(Vernon Robison | The Progress) – One local elected official had a first-hand witness of the explosive danger in feeding charged rhetoric to a frenzied crowd.
Nevada Assemblywoman-elect Annie Black of Mesquite travelled to Washington D.C. last week to attend the National Mall rally in support of Donald Trump held on Wednesday, Jan. 6. She planned to participate in a peaceful protest. But before the end of the day, she experienced a nightmarish scene as crowds got out of control and stormed through security into the Capitol building.
“I sure wasn’t planning on what happened, that is for sure,” Black said in an interview with The Progress after she returned home last week. “It definitely wasn’t at all what I signed up in attending the event.”
Black, who has attended several Trump rallies in various places during the past year, said that she had received word that a big rally would be held in Washington on Wednesday, the day that the Congress was scheduled to vote to certify the electoral votes in the Presidential election.
“There had been some rallies and protests recently and we really wanted to go,” Black said. “But we stayed home and just watched them on TV and kind of regretted that. So this time, we decided we were going to go and support the President.”
In addition, Black said she has been averaging more than 200 emails every day from people in her Assembly district who were asking her to stand up and fight for Trump and somehow change the Nevada outcome at the state legislature.
“Unfortunately, because of the make-up of the legislature, and the fact that we don’t even go into session until February, there really wasn’t anything that I could do,” Black said. “I did ask Speaker Friarsen to call a special session. But obviously that wasn’t going to happen.”
Black spent all of Wednesday in Washington. She arrived near the Ellipse just south of the White House, where the rally was taking place, at around 8 am that morning. The gathering at the rally was huge. Black said that she could barely see the stage and the sound system wasn’t working well at that distance.
She had heard that, after his speech near the White House, the President would make another appearance later on at the Capitol. So at around 11 am, she and her group decided to just go up to the Capitol Building and wait, hoping they could get better positioning for the later speech.
When they got there, they set up amid a much smaller crowd on the east side of the Capitol.
The President spoke at about 1 pm and they listened to the speech over a loudspeaker that another attendee had hooked to his phone.
“And then, all hell broke loose,” Black said. “All of a sudden there are thousands of people. And they were just fired up. I think a lot of people got caught up in the moment and things got a little crazy. That is not an excuse for what they did. But when such a big crowd gets fired up sometimes things get pretty wild.”
Black said that she had backed away from the activity, so she couldn’t see very well when the front lines of the crowd started to break through the barricades and approach the building.
But she definitely noted a very different feel to the crowd from what she had experienced near the Ellipse earlier in the day.
“It was just a different mixture of people that came there,” Black said. “When the influx of people started to arrive I remember noting that there were people walking around with gas masks and helmets. There were people with American flags that were letting them drag on the ground. It was just a different vibe.”
Black said that she witnessed a lot of people in the crowd who were trying to keep things from becoming destructive and violent.
“When stuff really started to hit the fan, there were a lot of people there who were shouting saying, ‘They’re not MAGA!’ about the people trying to get through the barricade,” Black said. “And when people tried to pull the barriers away, others were struggling with them to keep them in place.”
As the crowd broke through the barriers and began to approach the Capitol building, Black said that she withdrew far back to the east, toward the front of the Supreme Court building.
“When people rushed the fence, I didn’t want any part of that,” she said. “That wasn’t what I came for. I’ve just worked too hard and sacrificed too much to have this opportunity thrown away by doing something stupid like that.”
Even so, there were some Democratic groups that called for Black, and other Republican state legislators from across the event who attended the event, to relinquish their legislative positions and not be seated for the next session.
But Black said that she has no intention of resigning.
“It is ridiculous,” she said. “Those groups have never even talked to me and they didn’t even wait for me to make a statement about it. They just want me to resign for purely political reasons. I didn’t break any laws and I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Black said that witnessing this debacle has changed her life forever, though. She said that it has taught her lessons that she will remember. The manipulative and inflammatory rhetoric on both sides of the political divide needs to stop or terrible things could result, she said.
“When the representatives of either party pumps people full of this charged language and makes folks think it is the end of the world, then where do they go from there?” Black said. “I mean people felt like they don’t have a president to protect them, they don’t have a Senate majority or a majority in Congress; and especially in Nevada, we don’t have equal representation in our state legislature. So people start feeling really desperate and backed into a corner. All someone has to do is throw a rhetorical match in there and everything goes up in flames. I think that is what we were seeing there.”
Black said that the experience will definitely inform her approach to the State Legislature when she is seated in the Assembly next month. She wants to reach across the aisle to political opponents and get to know them as people she can work with.
“I feel like we all need to humanize one another,” Black said. “We need to start understanding that I’m not just a Republican and you’re not just a Democrat. We are all humans and we have things in common.”
“I don’t know how else we are going to fix this, because I am really afraid,” Black said. “We opened a Pandora’s box on Wednesday. And I don’t know if that is something that is going to go away.”
(Oscar Quine | Newsweek) – Newly elected Assemblywoman Annie Black has said she will not resign, after attending the protest that turned violent in Washington on Wednesday.
In an email blast sent through her campaign website, Black outlined her involvement on the day and insisted that she was “not going anywhere.”
Black says she flew to Washington, D.C. by herself to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally, and while participating in the march, never entered the Capitol building.
She said the rally was “marred by some fringe elements who assaulted police officers and damaged property,” adding added that: “THEY should be punished. Severely.” The violence resulted in five deaths and 52 arrests.
Black told reporters earlier that she had attended the march from the White House to the Capitol, but had not entered the Capitol itself. “Going into the Capitol to me was unacceptable, there was no excuse for that,” she said, going on to refer to the building as a sacred space.
Black said she and others had simply “exercised our constitutional right to peaceably assemble and “petition the government for a redress of grievances related to how the 2020 elections were conducted.”
A member of Mesquite City Council since 2018 and Nevada Assembly since last year, Black previously said she has “attended over a dozen Trump rallies over the past few years.”
Her refusal to resign comes after the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee called on Friday for every Republican leader involved to “resign immediately,” along with a list of names including Black’s.
“There is blood on the ground at Capitol Hill and Republicans have nothing to say about their own elected officials who cheered on the rioters,” Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post said in a written statement after the violence.
“There must be consequences for these shameful actions. We have videos of Republican state legislators trespassing in the Capitol and encouraging the crowd outside. They must resign or be expelled from their offices, and their leaders need to apologize to the American people for the Republican Party’s role in violently attacking our democracy.”
In response to this, Black wrote: “I’m not going anywhere. Though it appears Republican Assembly Minority Leader Robin Titus wishes otherwise.”
On Saturday, Virginia Republican Senator Amanda Chase also faced calls to resign. Virginia Senate’s Democratic Caucus accused Chase of having “galvanized domestic terrorists who violated the United States Capitol on Wednesday afternoon through riots, destruction, and desecration.”
Newsweek has approached Black and Chase for comment.
Annie discusses her January 6 trip to Washington, DC for the “Stop the Steal” rally…
(Lauren Clark | News 3 Las Vegas) – State Assemblywoman-elect Annie Black from Mesquite is fending off national critics who are demanding she resigns after being on the Capitol grounds when a pro-Trump mob stormed inside and ransacked the building.
Black admits she went to the “Stop the Steal Rally” in Washington D.C. Wednesday, citing that she’s a supporter of the President.
“I’ve attended over a dozen Trump rallies over the past few years, including the one in Bullhead City in October,” she wrote in a press release explaining herself entitled ‘How My Trip to DC Didn’t Go Exactly as Planned.’ “They’ve been nothing but peaceful, fun events. Wednesday’s started out that way…but went horribly and tragically wrong.”
Black told News 3 she could feel the energy shifting as people gathered to hear the President speak for the second time near the Capitol building.
“People were at the front of the barrier saying, ‘Storm the barrier, storm the barrier,’ and then there’s people to the right on megaphones saying ‘This is our house, they can’t keep us out’, so there was a mixture of all these elements, people were just amped up and they just went.”
Black says she turned around and left once violence and chaos erupted, saying she wanted no part of it.
When asked by our News 3 cameras in an interview if she went inside the Capitol building, she adamantly denied it.
“No, no absolutely not,” she said adding, “Going into the Capitol to me was unacceptable, there was no excuse for that.”
She said going inside “Crossed a line” in a building she called a “sacred space”.
“I don’t care if they were ANTIFA, rogue Trump supporters, white nationalists, whatever. Those who rioted inside the Capitol should be identified, arrested, charged, prosecuted and severely punished,” she wrote.
In her press release and Twitter page, Black also suggested rioters may be aligned with ANTIFA. It’s a popular theory among conservative groups on social media, though officials thus far have yet to confirm this is the case. Black also acknowledges it’s more speculation, than anything else, describing the people as being dressed in black and wearing helmets.
“I never, I don’t think said absolutely they were ANTIFA, but I thought maybe, and other people thought maybe, that they didn’t belong there, that they didn’t look like trump supporters,” she said. “That they looked suspicious to me.”
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee named Black among 12 other Republican representatives present in DC that day, demanding they leave office.
“There must be consequences for these shameful actions” says a statement from the DLCC in part, adding, “They must resign or be expelled from their offices.”
Black says she’s not backing down, and says the DLCC is only targeting her for differing political beliefs.
“Absolutely I’m not going to resign,” she said. “I didn’t do anything but participate in a peaceful protest, I never crossed the barrier.”
The Nevada Republican Party also sent News 3 this statement, which reads in full:
“The Nevada Republican Party supports the many patriots that peacefully assembled in our Nation’s Capital this week to exercise their First Amendment rights and voice their concerns over the past elections. We also stand for the rule of law. The use of violence and destruction of property caused by a small number of radical actors amongst tens of thousands of peaceful patriots is unacceptable. We have and will continue to firmly oppose bad actors inciting violence in the name of protesting, as we did with the violence we saw across our nation this past summer. Assemblywoman Black had every right to assemble in our Nation’s Capital. She did not break the law, participate in damaging property, or incite violence. In fact, she very clearly condemned those who broke the law. It’s ridiculous to be asking for her resignation for simply exercising her First Amendment right.”
While not naming Black by name, Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus put out this joint statement with Speaker Jason Frierson and Minority Leader Dr. Robin Titus:
“Nevada families deserve representatives who take their duty to uphold the fabric of our democracy with the level of seriousness it demands. It would be disappointing to learn of any elected leader at any level of government participating in violent or criminal activities.
Any activities deemed criminal should be handled by law enforcement and any actions taken against any member will be carefully considered if appropriate, but we will not be distracted from doing the work Nevadans elected us to do to get through these unprecedented times.”
She said she did not enter the building, and she condemned the violence while continuing to raise the as-yet-unproven claim that outside agitators contributed to it.
Black, a former Mesquite councilwoman and a fervent President Donald Trump supporter, shared her story Friday in one of her semi-regular email blasts sent out through her campaign website.
On Friday, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the national organizing arm aimed at electing Democrats to state legislatures, called for the resignation of Black and 12 other Republican legislators who attended the Capitol event.
In an interview, Black said she has no plans to resign.
In her email, Black said she and other Americans went to Washington to “express frustration with and opposition to the manner in which the 2020 election was conducted.” She said it was an exercise of free speech.
She said she went to the Capitol because she heard that Trump would give another speech. There, she heard someone yell to “storm the barrier” outside the building.
Black said she did not follow, instead moving toward the U.S. Supreme Court building and watching from a distance.
Black implied throughout her email that people who were not part of the pro-Trump protests had instigated the violence, sharing several accounts she said she witnessed of Trump supporters attempting to stop the instigators.
She quoted a New York Post story citing an unnamed source who told the newspaper that several far-left “antifa” members had infiltrated the protest.
While a popular theory among conservative social media users, the infiltration claim has yet to be proved.
On Friday, according to The New York Times, FBI Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono said in a call with reporters that there was “no indication” that antifa members were among those who stormed the Capitol.
Friday saw the arrest of several well-known, avowed Trump supporters on charges of illegally entering a restricted federal building, including Hawaii Proud Boys founder and former Republican congressional candidate Nick Ochs and newly elected Republican West Virginia state lawmaker Derrick Evans.
As of Friday, five people had died, either during the riots or as a result of them.
Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died Thursday from injuries he sustained while engaging rioters, and Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed Wednesday by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to breach a barricaded door. Three more died during the riots as a result of medical emergencies.
In an interview, Black said she saw people dressed in gas masks and helmets. She said that she could not guarantee that they were not Trump supporters but that they didn’t appear to be part of the main protest group.
Black ultimately wrote in the email that it did not matter whether the instigators were Trump supporters or part of any other group.
“Regardless. I don’t care if they were Antifa, rogue Trump supporters, white nationalists, whatever. Those who rioted inside the Capitol should be identified, arrested, charged, prosecuted and severely punished,” she wrote in bold lettering toward the bottom of her email.
Calls to resign
Black easily defeated incumbent Republican Chris Edwards in the June primary on a platform that Edwards was not conservative enough and did not support the president as much as she did. She won election in November after running unopposed.
She maintains a Twitter presence that routinely criticizes Democratic politicians, particularly Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, as well as the results of the state’s most recent election.
The Democrats officially joined a sparse social media chorus Friday asking Black to resign, with a DLCC statement saying Black and other identified legislators, including Evans, had been involved in a “terrorist insurrection” Wednesday.
“There is blood on the ground at Capitol Hill, and Republicans have nothing to say about their own elected officials who cheered on the rioters,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “There must be consequences for these shameful actions.”
Post called for the legislators to resign or be expelled from office.
In response, Black said Friday that she never passed any barrier or encouraged any rioting.
“That was not going to help our cause, and I was not going to be a part of it,” she said.
On Friday, Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson and Assembly Minority Leader Dr. Robin Titus put out a joint statement that appeared to address Black’s email.
“Nevada families deserve representatives who take their duty to uphold the fabric of our democracy with the level of seriousness it demands,” the joint statement reads. “It would be disappointing to learn of any elected leader at any level of government participating in violent or criminal activities.
“Any activities deemed criminal should be handled by law enforcement and any actions taken against any member will be carefully considered if appropriate, but we will not be distracted from doing the work Nevadans elected us to do through these unprecedented times.”
(FOX 5 Las Vegas) – Incoming Nevada state Assemblywoman Annie Black, a Republican, describes the chaos after protesters broke down barriers outside the Capitol building.
The lawmaker is now facing both praise and criticism from Southern Nevadans for attending the Washington D.C. protest and rally, calling the feedback “split,” mirroring the 2020 election. The Wednesday event organized by President Donald Trump ended with a violent mob ambush on the Capitol building.
“It was not anything I expected to see going there. Obviously, it was a sad thing to watch… it really maybe tarnished the movement we have been trying so hard to work on the last four years and even earlier so,” said Black, who condemned the violence.
Black describes how, upon not being able to see or hear President Trump during his speech at the Ellipse, walked to the Capitol building. The President’s speech was being blasted on a loudspeaker.
“I didn’t hear anything that would trigger anything or cause violence at the Capitol,” she said, responding to criticism that the speech led rioters to act.
“It got a little hostile. The vibe changed. It didn’t feel like all the other rallies and events that I had been at,” she said.
Upon hearing a call to storm the barrier, Black describes how she fled and heard a flash bang.
The lawmakers tells FOX5, it’s unfair for critics to paint all rally and protest attendees as participants in the mob.
“I’m being called a terrorist, an insurrectionist,” she said.
Black describes a lengthy account of the event here: Click here
(Cuneyt Dil | Associated Press) – Incoming Nevada state Assemblywoman Annie Black, a Republican, said she marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol, where she saw men on megaphones revving the crowd to storm the security barrier. She said she retreated to avoid being associated with the mob.
“We all had a choice when that fence came down,” she said. “Whether it was our group that incited that to happen or another group, every single person had the choice to make.”
Black traveled to Washington to attend President Donald Trump’s rally near the Washington Monument earlier in the day.
“Forty-eight months ago, I traveled to Washington, DC for the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Forty-eight hours ago, I was again in our nation’s capital for the national Stop the Steal rally,” she said. The assemblywoman-elect continued later, sharing, “… I’ve attended over a dozen Trump rallies since then, and they’ve all been nothing but peaceful, fun events. Wednesday’s started out the same way.”
Black marched with a group to the Capitol, but kept far behind a larger group, which had breeched the security line and gathered at the building’s east front.