House Minority Whip Steve Scalise refused to directly blame former President Donald Trump for the riot that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
During a Sunday morning appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” guest anchor Jon Karl pressed the Louisiana congressman, who had just visited the former president at Mar-a-Lago, on whether he had asked Trump to “take responsibility” for inciting the riot.
Scalise told Karl that the conversation centered around how Trump is “doing now and what he’s planning on doing and how his family is doing.”
“But, wait a minute, he hasn’t taken responsibility,” Karl pressed, asking Scalise if he agreed with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy that Trump “must take responsibility.”
“There’s a lot of blame to go around,” Scalise responded after referring to an op-ed he wrote for The Wall Street Journal in which he contended that Trump “should have denounced the attack unequivocally as it was taking place.”
After dismissing Scalise’s recitation of the rioters who have already been arrested as “obvious,” Karl went on to grill the congressman about Trump’s “role in this.”
The two continued to go back and forth, with Scalise refusing to directly blame the former president for the violence and pointing out that Democrats “didn’t denounce” the BLM and Antifa violence over the summer. (RELATED: Jen Psaki Dodges Question From ABC’s Jon Karl About Whether Cuomo Represents ‘Gold Standard For Leadership’)
The conversation then shifted to whether President Joe Biden is “the legitimate president of the United States,” with Scalise agreeing but insisting that there were states “that didn’t follow their state laws.”
“But if you’re gonna ignore the fact that there were states that did not follow their own state legislatively-set laws. That’s the issue at heart, that millions of people still are not happy with and don’t want to see happen again,” he said. “There are people concerned about what the next election is going to look like, are we finally going to get back to the way of rule of law works, that’s the biggest frustration these people have.”