McConnell Blames Trump for Provoking Mob

The crowd was 'fed lies' before attack, majority leader tells Senate
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2021 12:33 PM CST

(Newser) – Sen. Mitch McConnell hasn't said how he'll vote in the impeachment trial of President Trump, but he was clear about where he stands on the accusation Tuesday. "The mob was fed lies," the majority leader said on the Senate floor, the Hill reports. "They were provoked by the president and other powerful people." The article of impeachment charges Trump with "incitement of insurrection" in the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6. The president addressed the crowd at a rally outside the White House just before it marched to the Capitol, saying that he'd never conceded the election and that President-elect Joe Biden's victory was fraudulent.

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"You'll never take back our country with weakness," the president told the crowd. "You have to show strength, and you have to be strong." Trump has defended his speech as "totally appropriate." The "other powerful people" McConnell mentions could include lawmakers who objected to certifying Biden's victory even after the attack; Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have faced calls to resign in the aftermath. McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, the incoming majority leader, are negotiating the logistics of the Senate impeachment trial, per CNBC. McConnell had blocked holding the trial before Trump's term ends. Five people have died as a result of the attack. (The Capitol attack was one factor affecting Trump's final approval rating.)

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