Mitch McConnell Says Capitol Rioters Were ‘Provoked’ By Trump

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a figure as complicit as any in President Donald Trump’s rise and rule, sharply rebuked the president on Tuesday, saying he provoked the insurrectionist mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol.

“The mob was fed lies,” he said on the Senate floor. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, 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.”

The other powerful people McConnell is ostensibly referring to are his Republican colleagues in the Senate who, on the day of the violent Jan. 6 insurrection, objected to certifying the election as a victory for President-elect Joe Biden. Among them are Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who was presiding over the Senate during McConnell’s remarks Tuesday, and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who was the first senator to say he would act to throw out the election results.

McConnell, who will become the minority leader when Senate Democrats are sworn in Wednesday, reportedly told his colleagues last week that he supported House Democrats’ efforts to impeach Trump, but was ultimately unwilling to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session to consider removing Trump from office.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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