Trump Admits to House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy He's Partly to Blame for Capitol Riot

Five days after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, President Donald Trump on Monday accepted at least partial responsibility for Wednesday's deadly riot. Speaking with his fellow Republicans Monday during a House GOP-wide conference call, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy revealed Trump took some of the blame for the violence during a phone call earlier that day.

CBS News confirmed the call Tuesday morning, citing multiple Republicans familiar with the exchange. Details of the call remain limited, though McCarthy's comments would indicate this being the first time the president has accepted any responsibility for the Jan. 6 events. A separate report from Axios, however, alleges that Trump blamed "Antifa people" for storming the Capitol, despite the FBI's statement that they have found "no indication" that Antifa members were involved. During the 30-minute phone call, which was described as tense, McCarthy pushed back on these claims, reportedly telling the president, "It's not Antifa, it's MAGA. I know. I was there." It is unclear whether Trump took some responsibility before or after his comments on Antifa.

In the days since the Capitol riot, a growing number of lawmakers have condemned the president. On Monday, Democrats made the first step in efforts to remove Trump from office, formally introducing an article of impeachment that charges him with "incitement of insurrection." Along with citing remarks the president made prior to Jan. 6, the impeachment bill also cites the speech he delivered to supporters just before the crowd moved to the Capitol, during which "he reiterated false claims that 'we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.'"

"Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session's solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts," the bill reads.


According to CBS News, while McCarthy indicated to fellow House Republicans that he believes the president bears some responsibility for the mob and assault on the Capitol, he said he remains opposed to impeachment. In a letter sent to House Republicans, he wrote impeachment would "have the opposite effect of bringing our country together when we need to get America back on a path towards unity and civility." The House of Representatives is set to vote on Trump's impeachment Wednesday.