McConnell Said Trump “Provoked” Capitol Hill Rioters

By Claire Hardwick

In a day that will forever be remembered in history, members from a Trump “Save America” rally took the president literally, and marched to the nation’s Capitol Hill building to take back their country. The videos from the event show a serious commitment to what the rioters believed was a call to arms, and the beginning of a civil war. 

The aftermath of the event has left Republicans in a jam. While many Republican lawmakers have positioned themselves on the Trump train, it was hard for them to condemn the violence without condemning the president. What we’ve seen is a series of political dances, as those who have been complicit with the president tried to separate themselves without separating themselves form his base. 

But what we saw was that most Republicans still fear Trump. While some politicians, like Liz Cheney and Senator Murkowski, were quick to dismiss the president, leadership was slow to respond. Today, however, on the Senate floor, McConnell said, “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’s comments have attacked the baseless voter fraud allegations, He said that as a result of this false narrative, the rioters stormed the Capitol with the use of “fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”

Despite the attack, the Senate and the House came back together to confirm the electoral confirmation. McConnell said, “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.”

And in another attack against Trump’s narrative, McConnell said that the president lost more than other elections in recent history. McConnell said, “This election actually was not unusually close. Just in recent history, 1976, 2000 and 2004 were all closer than this one.”

Why this matters: McConnell, the highest ranking senator in the now GOP minority, has been a Trump ally these past four years. Reports have emerged, however, that he was furious with the Capitol Hill riot and the senators who objected to the electoral college confirmation. McConnell is clearly taking a strong stance against the Trump supporters and Trump himself, and trying to turn a new page for the Republican Party. As someone who is focused on the majority in the Senate, he watched the president’s influence lose him the power he has had for the past eight years. As someone who is a political operative, he must know that the tides are changing, and that for the Republican Party to have power again, they must form a new narrative.