House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy has tried to further walk back his comments blaming former President Trump for the violent riot on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters on January 6.
In an interview with Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren airing on Sunday, McCarthy claims that ‘everybody across this country has some responsibility’ for inciting the riot.
McCarthy had previously stated in a floor speech last week that he believed Trump ‘bears responsibility’ for the violence that resulted in the death of five people, including a Capitol police officer.
In the same interview with Van Susteren, McCarthy also spoke out about efforts to move impeachment articles against newly inaugurated President Biden.
The Californian Republican revealed he spoke to freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and told her that he disagreed with her actions.
House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy told Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren that he believed ‘everybody across this country has some responsibility’ for the January 6 riot
He has previously said that Trump bears responsibility for inciting the storming of the U.S. capitol through his claims of voter fraud. Pictured, Trump speaks to the crowd ahead of the riot
Yet McCarthy now claims that those who broke into Capitol buildings, as pictured above, were encouraged to do so not only by Trump. He claimed that law enforcement who didn’t prepare for the attack and Democrats who are rude to Trump on social media also hold responsibility
However, he added that she had the right to pursue impeachment if she wished.
‘I called her. I disagree with that. That’s exactly what the Democrats did with President Trump, and why we disagreed with when they wanted to come after him for purely political reasons,’ McCarthy said.
‘I think Republicans are better than that. That this is one of the arguments we used against the Democrats, and I don’t think we should use it either.’
‘She has a right to, as an elected member of Congress to submit those,’ he added,
‘I just don’t think the timing and the case is right at this time, in this moment.’
Greene claimed on Thursday that she had filed articles of impeachment against Biden on the first full day of his administration.
She did not reveal the text of the articles and what she gave as cause for believing he should be impeached but hinted at an abuse of power while he served as Obama’s Vice President.
The Georgia lawmaker claimed Biden had allowed his son Hunter to serve on the board of a Ukrainian energy company and make money from the fact that his father was Vice President by swaying his opinion on policy making related to Ukraine.
‘President Joe Biden is unfit to hold the office of the presidency. His pattern of abuse of power as President Obama’s Vice President is lengthy and disturbing,’ Greene said in a statement.
‘President Biden has demonstrated that he will do whatever it takes to bail out his son, Hunter, and line his family’s pockets with cash from corrupt foreign energy companies.’
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed this week she has filed articles of impeachment against Joe Biden but McCarthy has said he disagrees with her decision
Greene claimed Biden abused power as the timeline for Trump’s impeachment became clear
‘I filed Articles of Impeachment on Joe Biden yesterday for abuse of power,’ she added in a tweet Friday, as she shared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comment that articles of impeachment for Trump will be delivered to the Senate on Monday.
‘Biden has a history of corruption and abusing his elected position of power in order to help his son Hunter with deals with foreign country’s energy companies like in Ukraine and China.’
Biden has continuously denied that Hunter’s business dealings in the Ukraine ever swayed his policy making and a probe by Senate Republicans found no evidence of wrongdoing on his behalf or by his son.
It comes as Greene continues to make a controversial entrance to her new role on Capitol Hill, showing defiance against mask wearing and continuing to promote baseless claims that Biden did not win the election due to widespread voter fraud.
She wears a mask reading ‘Stop the Steal’, referencing the unfounded allegations, as she carries out her tasks as a congresswoman.
She attracted national headlines during her campaign for her outspoken comments on the QAnon conspiracy theories, that some supporters are now abandoning after Biden’s win failed to line up with its outlandish claims.
McCarthy had said on the House floor Trumpo ‘bears responsibility’ for the riot, pictured
Yet since, he has twice tried to walk back the comments. McCarthy voted against the articles of impeachment that accuse Trump of inciting an insurrection. Pictured, the MAGA riot
The riot on the Capitol came just after Trump spoke to thousands of his supporters at a ‘Stop the Steal’ Rally nearby, urging them to fight against the result.
It delayed Congress for six hours from certifying the Electoral College for Joe Biden.
As a result, Trump became the first U.S. President to be impeached for the second time after a House vote last week found that he incited an insurrection.
House Minority Leader McCarthy had initially stood by suggestions that Trump was guilty of causing the violence.
‘The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,’ he said on the House floor.
Yet his interview with Van Susteren was the second attempt in the past week to try and make a U-turn on the comments.
While saying that some of the fault still lay with Trump, McCarthy claimed that the former president was not the only one to blame.
‘No, I have not changed in that,’ he said of his opinion on Trump’s responsibility.
‘I think this is what we have to get to the bottom of, and when you start talking about who has responsibilities, I think there’s going to be a lot more questions, a lot more answers we have to have in the coming future,’ he added, claiming that law enforcement authorities who didn’t prepare for the attack and Democrats who are rude to Trump on social media also hold responsibility.
On Thursday, McCarthy, who voted against impeachment, had also told reporters that he now did not believe Trump was guilty of inciting the crowds to move against the Capitol.
‘I don’t believe he provoked, if you listen to what he said at the rally,’ McCarthy said at a press conference.
McCarthy’s comments stand in contrast to those of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who said on Wednesday that the Capitol mob had been ‘fed lies’ about the election result.
‘They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like,’ he added.
Yet McCarthy has stood in support of GOP lawmakers who voted for impeachment, even after he voted against.
He voiced his support for Representative Liz Cheney on Thursday after a petition began to circulate calling for her removal as GOP conference chairwoman for supporting the impeachment articles.
The impeachment trial has now been delayed with arguments scheduled to start on February 9.