Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused former President Donald Trump’s allies of using 74 million voters as “a human shield against criticism.”
McConnell lashed out at former President Donald Trump and his associates during a Saturday speech at the end of the impeachment trial. He defended his own “not guilty” vote by arguing that the Senate’s job was to consider the article of impeachment, not to pass moral judgment on the former president. (RELATED: McConnell Says He Will Vote To Acquit Trump In Impeachment Trial)
McConnell made it clear that he believed Trump had cheered on the rioters, saying, “Whatever our ex-president claims he thought might happen that day, whatever reaction he says he meant to produce by that afternoon, we know he was watching the same live television as the rest of us. A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags and screaming their loyalty to him.”
McConnell went on to say that Trump was clearly the only person who could end the riot, and said that others had clearly believed that as well.
“The president did not act swiftly, he did not do his job, he didn’t take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed and order restored. No. Instead, according to public reports, he watched television happily, happily, as the chaos unfolded,” McConnell continued, going on to criticize Trump for lashing out at his own vice president.
McConnell argued that by the time Trump did call for peace, he did so “half-heartedly” and continued to repeat his claims about the 2020 presidential election.
“In recent weeks our ex-president’s associates have tried to use the 74 million Americans who voted to reelect him as a kind of human shield against criticism,” McConnell added. “Anyone who decries his awful behavior is accused of insulting millions of voters. That’s an absurd deflection. 74 million Americans did not invade the capitol. Hundreds of rioters did. 74 million Americans did not engineer the campaign of disinformation and rage that provoked it. One person did. Just one.”