- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the former president in a speech Saturday.
- McConnell voted to acquit former President Donald Trump, but blamed him for the Capitol siege.
- “These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags, and screaming their loyalty to him.”
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked former President Donald Trump in a blistering speech on the Senate floor Saturday afternoon — almost immediately after voting to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial.
McConnell tore into Trump for his “disgraceful dereliction of duty” during last month’s Capitol siege, blaming the former president for the deadly event.
“There is no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said. “The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”
He continued: “And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole.”
McConnell was referring to Trump’s false and baseless claims that the presidential election had been stolen from him, which culminated in hundreds of his supporters storming the Capitol as lawmakers counted Electoral College votes.
“A mob was assaulting a Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags, and screaming their loyalty to him,” McConnell said.
Ultimately, seven Republican senators joined 50 Democrats in voting to convict Trump of one charge of inciting an insurrection. But a two-thirds majority was required to convict.
McConnell said he voted to acquit Trump because he believed the Constitution did not permit the Senate to remove a former president — only one still in office.
He added that Trump “didn’t get away with anything” and still faces criminal and civil actions.
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