House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — an ally of President Donald Trump’s — acknowledged Wednesday that the president is partly responsible for last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol, but he does not support the push to impeach Trump for his role.
During the House’s debate on impeachment Wednesday afternoon, McCarthy said Trump should “accept his share of responsibility” for inflaming a mob of his supporters to break into the Capitol last week and for not acting quickly to condemn the violence.
McCarthy said he doesn’t support impeaching Trump, calling the idea rushed and divisive, but he suggested an investigation and a censure resolution, following reports from Axios that the minority leader had proposed censuring Trump earlier this week.
McCarthy — who voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s wins in Pennsylvania and Arizona last week — also acknowledged Biden as the legitimate winner of last year’s presidential election, a step Trump has not taken so far.
“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by President Trump.”
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So far, Trump has not accepted blame for the attack on the Capitol, which took place after the president riled up his supporters in a fiery speech, urging them to march to Capitol Hill and to “fight like hell” to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s win. Trump told reporters on Tuesday his speech was “absolutely appropriate.”
McCarthy said there’s “absolutely no evidence” antifa or other left-wing actors were responsible for last Wednesday’s riot, refuting a conspiracy theory offered up by some Republicans like Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.). Trump has privately — and falsely — insisted antifa caused the riot, driving McCarthy to push back, Axios reported.
McCarthy has remained loyal to Trump in the weeks following Election Day, backing the president’s unsuccessful legal efforts to overturn the election’s results and voting in favor of tossing out Biden electoral votes in Congress. But after a mob of Trump’s supporters broke into the Capitol last Wednesday and forced lawmakers into hiding, McCarthy reportedly pressed Trump in private to accept some blame. McCarthy is not backing Democrats’ efforts to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection, but he reportedly isn’t pressuring House Republicans to side with him in voting no.
6. That’s the number of House Republicans who have publicly backed the push to impeach Trump a second time. The list includes Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the third-ranking House Republican.
Scoop: Trump falsely blames Antifa for Capitol insurrection (Axios)