House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is suggesting “everybody” across the U.S. is to blame, in some part, for the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
During an interview that aired on Sunday, McCarthy said on Gray Television’s “Full Court Press With Greta Van Susteren” that President Donald Trump had “some responsibility” in terms of his response to the violent riot.
“I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility,” McCarthy added, after noting he was previously questioned on if Trump incited the riot. “Think about four years ago after the President Trump was sworn in. What happened the very next day? The title was resist with people walking in the streets.”
He later added, “What do we write on our social media? What do we say to one another? How do we disagree and still not be agreeable even when it comes to opinion? So I think there’s from a whole nation, we should take this moment in time to find how we can correct ourselves.”
McCarthy continued, “But President Trump said ‘peacefully.’ What I said on the floor was that President Trump could have responded faster when the riots first started. I thought his video, the second video, was a very good video. I wish that was the first one.”
Watch McCarthy’s remarks below:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) blames *you* as he tries to clear up his statements on whether Trump bears responsibility for the January 6th attack on the Capitol or not.— The Recount (@therecount) January 24, 2021
“I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility," Rep. McCarthy says. pic.twitter.com/aBeGBsA9sJ
Kevin McCarthy appeared to backtrack from his initial criticism of Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 riot, as @ArthurDelaneyHP wrote about https://t.co/UrtCmEaxjx But in his @greta interview, he claims there was no inconsistently and tries to explain pic.twitter.com/DJjhFfSOYy— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) January 23, 2021
From the minute the Capitol was attacked, I called for the rioters to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and have repeatedly said that it is incumbent upon every person in America to help lower the temperature of our political discourse. pic.twitter.com/8tLz1t5ABm— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 23, 2021
If we keep doing the same thing in our politics, we cannot expect a different result. That means everyone—politicians, media, and the American people overall—have a role to play in disagreeing without being disagreeable.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 23, 2021
It won't happen overnight. But we must start somewhere.
This came after McCarthy said on the House floor on Jan. 13, “The president bears responsibility for [the Jan. 6] attack on Congress by mob rioters.”
He added at the time, “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action of President Trump.”
McCarthy also previously reportedly told fellow Republicans that he spoke with Trump on the phone and that the then-president “bears responsibility for his words and actions.”
The House minority leader also reportedly said, “I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened, if he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened.”
McCarthy later said at a press conference on Jan. 21, “I don’t believe [Trump] provoked if you listen to what he said at the rally.”
Trump spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C., shortly before the Capitol riot, where he told his supporters, “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”
He also said at the time, “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.”
Trump told protesters at the U.S. Capitol to “go home in peace,” in a video message. He later condemned the violence, also saying, “We have just been through an intense election and emotions are high, but now tempers must be cooled and calm restored.”
The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump, charging him with “incitement of insurrection.” House Democrats will bring the impeachment charge to the Senate on Monday. The Senate is expected to begin the impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8.