- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday said President Donald Trump was complicit in the Capitol siege, while rejecting conspiracy theories about antifa involvement.
- McCarthy also emphasised that President-elect Joe Biden was legitimately elected.
- The House GOP leader said he opposes impeachment but supports the resolution to censure Trump.
- “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack by mob rioters,” McCarthy said.
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday said President Donald Trump “bears responsibility” for the Capitol siege, while underscoring that President-elect Joe Biden was legitimately elected.
Speaking before the House as it debated Trump’s impeachment, the Republican leader expressed opposition to impeaching the president but endorsed a resolution to censure the commander-in-chief. Though McCarthy was present for the mayhem at the Capitol and witnessed it firsthand, he said impeachment should not occur without an investigation.
McCarthy said a vote to impeach Trump would further divide the country, but added that this “doesn’t mean the president is free from fault.”
“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack by mob rioters,” McCarthy said.
.@GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy: "I believe impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake…that doesn't mean the president is free from fault. The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters." pic.twitter.com/9UmhFpIYW1
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 13, 2021
In a speech that incited the violent insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, Trump falsely stated that Biden would be an “illegitimate” president. McCarthy unequivocally rejected any suggestions that the 2020 election was not free and fair in his remarks on Wednesday.
“What we saw last week was not the American way, neither is the continued rhetoric that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president. Let’s be clear: Joe Biden will be sworn in as president of the US in one week because he won the election,” McCarthy said.
The GOP leader also rejected conspiracy theories, pushed by lawmakers such as GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, that antifa was involved in the Capitol siege.
“Some say the riots were caused by antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so,” McCarthy said.
House Minority Leader McCarthy during impeachment debate:
"Some say the riots were caused by antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so." pic.twitter.com/RnC0yf9bZm
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 13, 2021
The violent mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6, in what amounted to an attempted coup, could be seen wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and carrying Trump flags. Those involved were clearly supporters of Trump, and many were apparent members or sympathizers of far right extremist groups.
The riot at the US Capitol resulted in five deaths, including one police officer. One week after the chaotic events, Trump is poised to be the only president to be impeached twice. At least six House Republicans have come out in support of impeaching Trump, a remarkable turn for a president who enjoyed near-unwavering loyalty from members of his party in Congress throughout his tenure.