Like many Americans, Jenna Bush Hager took Wednesday's assault on the Capitol very personally. The 39-year-old Today show co-host and daughter of former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush was visibly emotional on Thursday's show when talking with her co-host, Hoda Kotb, about the riots that took place amid the Electoral College vote to officially certify Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.
"What was so hard for so many of us, I think, who have grieving hearts, is that these images are not our America," she said of the mob that scaled Capitol walls, vandalized the property, and broke into the building with weapons. "This is not the America that you know. This is not the America that I know. This is not the America we want our kids to know. So that was hard."
Hager added that her firsthand experience and connection to the historic building and the area in front of it where presidential inaugurations are held made the images all the more upsetting.
"I have had the privilege of standing on those steps for several inaugurations, not just for family members, but for the first Black president of the United States of America when I was a teacher in inner city D.C. and that meant so much to so many," she said of the 2008 inauguration of President Barack Obama. "I kissed my grandfather [former President George H.W. Bush] goodbye in that rotunda. I have felt the majesty of our country in those walls and nobody can take that from any of us."
“I have felt the majesty of our country in those walls. And nobody can take that from any of us.” @JennaBushHager reflects a day after the riots on Capitol Hill, recalling her own personal connections to the home of Congress. pic.twitter.com/nHYpj8P18R
The mother of three went on to share a message of hope with viewers following the disturbing events.
"We're not [helpless] because the casual cruelty that we find on the internet and the words of leaders that do no reflect our country, we can stop that," she shared. "We can share kindness and smiles and love. And we can take back what is our country that we all love so very, very much. I have optimism... I have faith that our country will be better."