On Sunday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, accused Democrats of politicizing this week’s January 6, 2021 attack against the US Capitol. In response, critics on Twitter relaunched his comments from a year earlier, where he himself blamed former President Donald Trump for the violent events of the day.
Exactly a year ago, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an apparent attempt to obstruct the formal certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. The attack came after the former president claimed for months that election results had been “rigged” and urged supporters to march to the legislative building that day at a nearby rally and “fight like hell” to save his country. ” asked for.
As the nation marked the one-year anniversary of the Capitol attack this week, Democrats and some Republicans raised concerns about Trump’s continued claim that the 2020 election was a “stolen” in favor of Biden. In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, McCarthy complained about the Democrats’ reaction to the anniversary of the attack.
“You saw what they did last week when we were out – tried to politicize January 6th,” he complained. McCarthy claimed that “everyone believed what happened on January 6 was wrong, beyond wrong.”
Some members of the GOP House have underestimated the violent attack, comparing it to a tourist trip. Others have suggested that it was simply a protest or spread misinformation, claiming that it was organized by left-wing activists.
Critics on Twitter resumed remarks from January 2021 in which McCarthy condemned the attack and then blamed Trump for the violence.
“The violence, destruction and anarchy we saw before was unacceptable, undemocratic and un-American,” the GOP House leader said in a speech shortly after the January 6 violence. “It was the saddest day I’ve ever had while serving as a member of this organization.”
A week later, in a January 13 speech, McCarthy directly blamed Trump for the attack.
“That doesn’t mean the president is free of blame. The president takes responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” he said. “When he saw what was happening, he should have immediately condemned the crowd. These facts require immediate action by President Trump, accepting his share of responsibility, quelling the ongoing unrest. and ensure that President-elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term.”
McCarthy said Trump should face “condemnation” over the attack. Since then, California Republicans have mended their relationship with the former president, while continuing to support him as leader of the GOP.
Anti-Trump Republican Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois have heavily criticized McCarthy for continuing to support Trump in the wake of the January 6 violence. Kinzinger has said that McCarthy is the major reason the former president remains relevant with the GOP.
“Kevin McCarthy is legitimately, the only reason why Donald Trump is still a force in the party,” Kizinger told the Associated Press last week. “That whole-hearted embrace, I saw firsthand in the members, intimidated them not only to take on Trump, but in some cases to embrace him wholeheartedly.”
In late January 2021, McCarthy visited Trump’s resort club Mar-a-Lago in Florida and traveled to repair their relationship.
In May, Cheney told NBC News that McCarthy’s trip to Florida was “really surprising.” She added that Trump “is not just a former president. He instigated the attack on the Capitol, attacked our democracy. And so I don’t understand why you want to rehabilitate him.”
newsweek McCarthy’s spokesperson reached out for comment.