Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) slammed President Trump on Tuesday, alleging the president played a key role in provoking a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
McConnell delivered his harsh remarks during comments on the Senate floor. The Republican leader said that Trump, along with “other powerful people,” shared responsibility in the Jan. 6 riot and attack on Congress.
“The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals who tried to stop congress from doing our duty. The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the President and other powerful people,” McConnell said. “And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
“But we pressed on. We stood together and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation, not even for one night. We certified the people’s choice for their 46th president,” McConnell said.
Leader McConnell on the U.S. Capitol Attack:
“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people."pic.twitter.com/xzUeMGnfNI
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 19, 2021
Trump spoke at a rally before the riot to a crowd of his supporters, objecting to certifying the electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden and insisting that the election was “stolen.” He urged his supporters to “peacefully” march to the Capitol and protest.
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol — and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump told the crowd. “Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”
“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated. Lawfully slated,” he continued.
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Trump said. “Today, we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections.”
The House impeached Trump for the second time last week, alleging that the president incited the crowd against Congress.
The president “willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol,” the impeachment article says. “Incited by President Trump, a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol, injured law enforcement personnel, interfered with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the election results, and engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.”
“In all of this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government,” the article continued. “He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”