A handful of Republicans in U.S. Government have come out to openly say that Donald Trump is responsible for inciting the attack on the Capitol. However, many more can’t seem to make themselves say for certain whether or not they think the former president caused the insurrection attempt on his behalf.
In the clip below, Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) is asked on ABC‘s This Week whether Trump is responsible for the attack. He quickly begins to avoid answering the question.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), #2 House Republican who visited Mar-a-Lago this week, refuses to say whether Trump incited the 1/6 Capitol Insurrection.
"Surely there's a lot of blame to go around, but at the end of the day the people who stormed the Capitol … it was a disgrace." pic.twitter.com/3Ps01YoBPh
— The Recount (@therecount) February 21, 2021
He dodges, discussing his Wall Street Journal op-ed on the matter, and then discusses the FBI trying to find the individuals actively involved.
Pressed to respond about Donald Trump’s role, Scalise again changes the subject, making reference to video clips played at the impeachment trial in which Democratic lawmakers called on people to “fight” — but never to alter the outcome of an election.
The op-ed he refers to, linked above, actually goes further in both directions.
On one hand, it does assign a tiny bit of blame to Trump. Scalise says, “President Trump should have denounced the attack unequivocally as it was taking place,” and “It would be equally naive to think that the Capitol rioters arrived at their decisions in a void. Violent rhetoric helps radicalize people.”
However, he says this in the context of a “both sides” argument, saying that the man who shot him in 2017 was “heavily influenced by the demonization of congressional Republicans by some Democratic politicians,” and spinning all the way back to, like his colleagues continue to do, point to Black Lives Matter protests, some of which became violent, as equivalent to an attempt to overthrow the U.S. government.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com