Trump: McConnell Does Not Speak for the GOP

McConnell had criticized RNC resolution censuring panel members
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2022 6:58 PM CST
Updated Feb 10, 2022 12:43 AM CST
McConnell Breaks With RNC on Capitol Riot
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Update: Former President Trump issued a lengthy statement Wednesday slamming Mitch McConnell a day after the Senate minority leader's comments on Jan. 6. "Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party, and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters," Trump said. "If Mitch would have fought for the election, like the Democrats would have if in the same position, we would not be discussing any of the above today, and our Country would be STRONG and PROUD instead of weak and embarrassed." See the full statement at Yahoo News, or more on the growing split in the Republican Party at the AP. Our original story from Tuesday follows:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell described the Capitol riot as a "violent insurrection" Tuesday—and criticized the Republican National Committee for censuring two party members on the House panel investigating the attack. The Jan. 6, 2021 riot "was a violent insurrection with the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election," McConnell told reporters, per the Hill. "That’s what it was." On Friday, the RNC, led by chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, passed a resolution accusing Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger of joining "Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse."

The RNC resolution—which passed by voice vote "with only a smattering of no's," per the Washington Post—has also been criticized by GOP senators including Sens. Susan Collin, Lindsey Graham, and Mitt Romney, who is McDaniels' uncle. "Anything that my party does that comes across as being stupid is not going to help us," Romney said. McConnell said Tuesday that while he still has faith in McDaniel, "the issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views from the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC."

McConnell's use of the word "insurrection" is significant because many other party members have declined to use the term, with some even portraying the events of Jan. 6 as a peaceful protest, despite the fact that rioters injured more than 100 law enforcement officers, the AP notes. (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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