Former close Trump ally Mitch McConnell says President Trump ‘provoked’ Capitol Hill riot

Published on January 20, 2021 by

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, who will play a key role in the upcoming Senate trial against Donald Trump, says the president provoked the violent mob that stormed Capitol Hill on January 6.

Speaking in the Senate less than a day before Joe Biden is inaugurated, Senator McConnell said President Trump’s false statements the election was stolen “stoked” the mob, which in turn tried to stop Congress from officially certifying the results.

“The mob was fed lies,” Senator McConnell said.

“They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”

Senator McConnell’s comments come as President Donald Trump was impeached for a historic second time after the House of Representatives secured enough votes to charge him.

A total of 10 Republicans voted against their party and Mr Trump, with the final result standing at 232 votes to impeach and 197 against.

He is the first US president to be impeached twice – previously charged over his calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

This time, Mr Trump is accused of inciting an insurrection following the deadly riots at the US Capitol on January 6.

The Senate will now hold a trial into the allegations, with Mr McConnell set to play a key role.

Democrats will need 16 Republicans to vote to convict Mr Trump on charges he incited a riot.

Some commentators in the US say if Mr McConnell votes to convict Mr Trump, it will convince enough Republicans to follow suit, paving the way for Mr Trump to be convicted by Congress.

If he is convicted, he could be barred from running for elected office.

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