Mike Lee Defends Trump's Comments Ahead of Impeachment Trial: 'Everyone's Entitled to a Mulligan'
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is arguing that Democrats and Republicans alike make inflammatory comments every once in a while and that when they do, they should get a “mulligan.”
His comments come as the Senate began its impeachment trial to determine whether or not to convict former President Donald Trump on the charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
Democrats have pointed to Trump’s unfounded claims that there was widespread fraud in the election that swung the results, and his comments at a rally before the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S Capitol to support their charge.
During an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday, Lee reacted to a 2018 clip of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) urging a crowd to “get up in the face of some Congresspeople.”
Co-host Dana Perino said Democrats argue that Booker’s comments are different than those made by Trump at a rally before demonstrators stormed the Capitol.
“It’s not different. These are outgrowths of the same natural impulse that exist from time to time among anyone in this business,” Lee said.
He added, “Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone’s entitled to a mulligan once in awhile. And I would hope, I would expect, that each of those individuals would take a mulligan on each of those statements. Because in each instance, they’re making it deeply personal, they’re ceasing to make it about policy, and instead, they’re talking about getting up in people’s faces and making individuals feel perfectly uncomfortable.”
Watch the video below:
It should be noted that Lee's "mulligan" line came after a clip of Cory Booker saying people should "get up in the face" of Trump-supporting congresspeople. But the idea is to bothsides Trump's encouragement of insurrection. Here's the full context. pic.twitter.com/qWoew4zKaY
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 9, 2021
At a rally shortly before protesters breached the security of the Capitol, Trump told his supporters, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
“We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he added.
The Democratic impeachment managers, who will argue that Trump incited the riot, said in a brief last week that the former president “summoned, assembled and incited a violent mob that attacked the Capitol, cost the lives of three police officers and four other people, threatened the Vice-President and Congress, and successfully halted the counting of the Electoral College vote.”
However, Trump’s legal team has argued that he was merely exercising his First Amendment right to free speech and that his comments at the rally did not have “anything to do with the action at the Capitol as it was clearly about the need to fight for election security in general.”
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