Chuck Schumer overheard Jan. 6 rioter calling him 'the big Jew'

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer revealed that a Capitol insurrectionist sought to harm him because of his Jewishness. Antisemitic flags and symbols were prevalent at last year's riots.

Sen. Chuck Schumer at a news briefing with new Democratic senators at the US Capitol, Jan. 21, 2021. (photo credit: DREW ANGERER / GETTY IMAGES)
Sen. Chuck Schumer at a news briefing with new Democratic senators at the US Capitol, Jan. 21, 2021.
(photo credit: DREW ANGERER / GETTY IMAGES)

A Capitol insurrectionist wanted to hurt Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (D) because of his Jewishness, the senator revealed in an interview with USA Today on Tuesday. 

"There's the big Jew, let's get 'em," the insurrectionist reputedly said.

Schumer argued that the antisemitism on display during the riot was part of a larger system of bigotry.

"Bigotry against one is bigotry against all," he said.

Schumer also revealed in the interview that during the riot, then-President Donald Trump was not willing to talk to him. Instead, he spoke to the acting Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense in order to persuade the president to call his followers to back down.

 Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, of Arizona speaks with a U.S. Capitol Police officer after supporters of President Donald Trump occupied the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021 (credit: MIKE THEILER/REUTERS) Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, of Arizona speaks with a U.S. Capitol Police officer after supporters of President Donald Trump occupied the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021 (credit: MIKE THEILER/REUTERS)

"It is amazing that Donald Trump resisted from calling them back until 5:30-6:00 p.m. when they were already leaving," he said.

"Angry, angry people," he added. "I had no doubt after seeing them that they wanted to undo the government."

"For the first time ever - and I'm a natural optimist - I'm worried about the future of our democracy," he said. "Something is out of whack in a way it has never been before."

The insurrection included many antisemitic actors and symbols.

Prominent Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis were part of the Capitol mob. A far-right activist known as Baked Alaska livestreamed from inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Another extremist, Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist who leads the far-right Groyper Army, was said to be in the room with him. 

The Neo-Nazi group NSC-131 also joined the insurrection, according to reporter Hilary Sargent. NSC stands for Nationalist Social Club and has small regional chapters in the United States and abroad. The 131 division is from New England.

In a video, one participant was seen brandishing a flag with what some Twitter users identified as a swastika, though it wasn’t entirely clear.

Laura E. Adkins and Emily Burack of JTA contributed to this report.