Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has spoken out against Donald Trump, saying that he believes the outgoing U.S. president "provoked" and "fed lies" to the Capitol rioters. According to the AP, McConnell took to the Senate floor on Tuesday and delivered a bold rebuke of Trump. "The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people."
McConnell's words come as President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn into office on Wednesday after winning the 2020 presidential election. Trump has consistently alleged that the election was stolen from him and that he received more votes than Biden, but no evidence has been provided to support this claim. The riot on Jan. 6 was preceded by a march and protest of the election results, which Trump's supporters also do not believe are valid, even though the results have been certified by the electoral college and the U.S. Congress. During a speech to the crowd, before a mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, Trump stated that his supporters would have to "fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."
BREAKING: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the pro-Trump mob that attacked Capitol was "fed lies" and "provoked by the president." McConnell spoke six days after the Democratic-led House impeached Trump on charges of inciting the Jan. 6 riot. https://t.co/ikkIlGyu4S— The Associated Press (@AP) January 19, 2021
Following the riot, the House voted to impeach Trump for allegedly inciting the mob. He is the only president to ever be impeached twice. Next, there will be a Senate hearing on the allegations, and if his words are found to have been a contributing factor in the siege, he could be barred from ever holding a federal office ever again.
McConnell has long been an ally of Trump, over his four years as president, but now he has stated that he has not decided whether or not he will vote to convict Trump. This is crucial, as with the Senate now being at 50-50, with Democrats gaining control by way of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris having the deciding vote in any ties, at least 17 Republicans will have to join the Democrats to achieve the two-thirds vote necessary to convict Trump. Notably, McConnell will no longer serve as Senate Majority Leader. That role will now pass to New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who was the Senate Minority Leader.