Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said January 6 was ‘interference with the lawful transfer of power using violence’ — the definition of an insurrection — but refrains from using the word

Governor Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019.
Governor Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., appears on ‘Meet the Press’ in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
  • Rioters stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn the presidential election.
  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson condemned the events of January 6 but did not call it an insurrection.
  • January 6 was an “interference with the lawful transfer of power using violence,” the governor said.

During a Sunday interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was reluctant to label the January 6 attack on the Capitol an insurrection, yet described it as one by definition.

“Some people are going to call it an insurrection. Some people are going to call it terrorism. I call it interference with the lawful transfer of power using violence, and that’s wrong,” Hutchinson said.

The Republican governor paraphrased the definition for insurrection provided by dictionary publisher Merriam Webster: a usually violent attempt to revolt against or take control of a civil authority or established government. 

On January 6, violent protesters attempted to enter the Senate chamber, forcing US lawmakers to evacuate and abandon the task at hand: certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

While members of Congress were eventually able to return and finish the certification, it took authorities several hours to regain control of the Capitol building, which resulted in multiple deaths.

Despite his indecisiveness on how to label the events of January 6, Hutchinson told Tapper that what happened should not be minimized.

“Let’s accept what it is. Let’s don’t run from it. Let’s learn from it and let’s make sure that we don’t fall down that path again. For the long term, we have to show to the world that we’re not going to accept that as how we transfer power in elections in America,” Hutchinson said.