McConnell Rebukes Trump For His Role In Capitol Riot : Capitol Insurrection Updates The Senate majority leader's remarks are his strongest against the president since the Jan. 6 riot.
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'The Mob Was Fed Lies': McConnell Rebukes Trump For His Role In Capitol Riot

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'The Mob Was Fed Lies': McConnell Rebukes Trump For His Role In Capitol Riot

'The Mob Was Fed Lies': McConnell Rebukes Trump For His Role In Capitol Riot

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/958410118/958689715" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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NOEL KING, HOST:

For four years, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell avoided public confrontations with President Trump. Trump, of course, was often enacting McConnell's agenda. But on the president's last full day in office, McConnell stood on the Senate floor and blamed him for the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Here's NPR's Kelsey Snell.

KELSEY SNELL, BYLINE: Standing at the heart of the Senate chamber that had been breached by a mob of rioters just two weeks earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized President Trump in a way that would have been unthinkable for a GOP leader before the election.

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MITCH MCCONNELL: The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.

SNELL: It was the last full day of McConnell's six-year stretch leading the Senate and the last full day of the Trump presidency. Republicans are at a crossroads, as the fight over the 2020 election loss and the insurrection at the Capitol threaten to tear the GOP apart. The Senate is preparing for an unprecedented impeachment trial, where they must decide whether to convict Trump on the single charge of incitement to insurrection. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer insists the trial will go ahead, even though the vote will happen after Trump leaves office.

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CHUCK SCHUMER: We need to set a precedent that the severest offense ever committed by a president will be met by the severest remedy provided by the Constitution - impeachment and conviction by this chamber, as well as disbarment from future office.

SNELL: McConnell hasn't denied the possibility that he may vote to convict Trump in a Senate trial, but he hasn't publicly said he'll vote yes, either. Ten House Republicans voted for impeachment, and a growing number of Senate Republicans are publicly considering the same. The charge of incitement to insurrection specifically spells out Trump's attempts to overturn the election and his involvement in spreading misinformation, all of which McConnell disavowed before the attack began.

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MCCONNELL: The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken. They've all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.

SNELL: Senate Republicans will be asked to decide whether the events that followed McConnell's speech did damage worthy of impeachment.

Kelsey Snell, NPR News, Washington.

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