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McConnell: Capitol rioters 'provoked by the president'; 'the mob was fed lies'

McConnell addresses Breonna Taylor decision, shooting of Louisville officers in Senate floor speech
Posted at 12:45 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 13:25:25-05

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is explicitly pointing his finger at President Donald Trump for helping to spur the violent attack on the Capitol January 6 by pro-Trump protesters.

The Kentucky Republican said Tuesday on the Senate floor, “The mob was fed lies."

"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," McConnell continued.

McConnell spoke six days after the Democratic-led House impeached Trump on charges of inciting the Jan. 6 attack. A Senate trial on whether to convict Trump and perhaps bar him from ever again holding federal office is expected to begin in coming days.

After years of supporting Trump with little criticism of him, McConnell has said he’s not decided whether he would vote to convict him in a Senate trial. His decision may prove critical because in a Senate that will be divided 50-50 between the two parties, it would take 17 Republicans to join all Democrats for the two-thirds margin needed for conviction.