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McConnell Breaks With RNC, Calls Jan 6th a ‘Violent Insurrection’

McConnell Breaks With RNC, Calls Jan 6th a ‘Violent Insurrection’

Americans will never hear the phrase “legitimate political discourse” the same way again.

As Donald Trump and his allies have been downplaying the January 6th Capitol attack by his supporters last year, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is criticizing the Republican National Committee (RNC) for censuring two House GOP lawmakers, saying it’s not the party’s job to police the views of individual members. “It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next,” McConnell said on Tuesday. He said he still has “confidence” in RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, but “the issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views than the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC.”

[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]
Last week, the RNC took a voice vote to approve censuring Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois at the party’s winter meeting in Salt Lake City. The two are the only Republicans to sit on the bipartisan, Democrat-led House Select Committee aggressively investigating the siege and has subpoenaed many in Trump’s inner circle.

The RNC’s resolution censuring Cheney and Kinzinger accused the House panel as a whole of leading a “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse” – words that drew outrage from Democrats and firm pushback from several GOP senators. Maine Sen. Susan Collins said that the rioters who “broke windows and breached the Capitol were not engaged in legitimate political discourse, and to say otherwise is absurd.” Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mitt Romney of Utah both contacted McDaniel to discuss the censure. Romney, who is McDaniel’s uncle, told reporters that it “could not have been a more inappropriate” message from the party.

McConnell’s firm statement, combined with Mike Pence’s strongly worded message to Republicans and Trump supporters alike that there was no legal recourse to overturn the 2020 election, may take some wind out of Trump’s sails. But it won’t do much to heal a fractured Republican Party already dealing with Trump’s legal woes and a contentious midterm election season ahead.

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While McConnell might have spoken truthfully about January 6th to the press, he continued to do the opposite from the Senate floor.

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