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Even with former President Donald Trump’s impeachment done and over with, members of the mainstream press continue to obsess over it and, namely, the dubious charge that Trump had incited the Jan. 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Case in point: During a discussion, Sunday with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise about his recent private meeting with the former president, ABC News host Jon Karl kept haranguing Scalise over whether Trump has taken responsibility for the riot.
The discussion began with Karl playing an old video of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy saying on the House floor that Trump “bears responsibility” for the attack.
Based on this old clip from Jan. 13th, the ABC host then asked, “You met with the former president. Did you ask him to take responsibility? Did he take responsibility?”
Trump was acquitted just a week ago on the unsubstantiated charge that he’d incited the riot, so it’s not clear why Karl felt that he should be taking responsibility for it.
Scalise replied by avoiding the nonsensical question and instead just describing his interactions with the former president.
“Well Jonathan, I was in Florida doing some fundraising throughout a number of parts of Florida I ended up at Mar-a-Lago, and the president reached out, and we visited. I hadn’t seen him since he had left the White House, and it was actually good to catch up with him,” he said.
“I noticed he was a lot more relaxed than [during] his four years in the White House. He still cares a lot about this country and the direction of our country, but you know, it was a conversation more about how he’s doing now and what he’s planning on doing, and how his family is doing.”
Unsatisfied with Scalise’s answer, Karl then brought the discussion right back to the Jan. 6th riot.
Watch the full discussion below:
“But wait a minute. I mean, he hasn’t taken responsibility. You heard Kevin McCarthy say … I mean, do you agree with what Kevin McCarthy said there that the president must take responsibility, that the facts demand that he take responsibility for what happened on Jan. 6th?” he asked.
Scalise replied by pointing out that there’s plenty of blame to go around.
“Well first of all, I wrote a Wall Street Journal editorial about where I think the responsibility lays for Jan. 6th, and surely there’s a lot of blame to go around,” he said.
Indeed, in a column published Jan. 12th, Scalise pointed to the Democrat rhetoric that influenced the shooter who nearly killed him during the congressional baseball shooting in 2017, and the Democrat Party’s embrace of violent Black Lives Matter rioters last summer.
Yet, he added, he was not about to blame either occurrence directly on Democrats, just as Democrats should now be in no hurry to blame either the former president or all Trump supporters for the actions of one ragtag group of troublemakers.
“I made a conscious decision not to hold anybody but the gunman responsible for [the baseball shooting]. … … I also reject the notion that the mob’s actions [on Jan. 6th] accurately represent the motivations of the millions of Americans who voted for President Trump or the Republican Party,” he wrote.
This is the second time in three years I have seen political violence firsthand. Republicans and Democrats alike must have the moral clarity to call out violent rhetoric whenever it’s spoken, not just when it’s politically convenient. https://t.co/uG9nJO0gob
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 13, 2021
He echoed this same sentiment to Karl.
“But at the end of the day, the people who stormed the capital on Jan. 6th … it was a disgrace, and they need to be held accountable. In fact, over 180 have already been arrested, and I know the FBI is working to root out every person who broke into the Capitol, who attacked police others,” he said.
Of course, Karl wasn’t convinced.
“I’m asking about Donald Trump’s role in this. You heard, again Kevin McCarthy, do you agree with what he said that he bears responsibility for what happened,” he pressed once again for the 30th time.
Scalise responded this time by pointing to all the video footage of Democrats cheering on violent behavior and espousing violent rhetoric.
“Well again, you can go back and look at the second impeachment trial. … When you look at that trial, they ran a clip of pretty much every United States senator who voted to impeach president trump, who talked about things like ‘go and fight like hell’ and other things like that,” he said before being cut off.
“So you’re saying he doesn’t bear responsibility?” Karl asked.
He was like a broken record.
Scalise responded by pointing out that, unlike Democrats, Trump has denounced both what happened in January and the horrific riots that happened during the summer.
“I think everybody should have been unequivocal in their denouncing of what happened not only on Jan. 6th but during the summer when they were burning down cities, shooting cops, beating people in the streets. … So let’s be across the board and say that anybody who resorts to violence to settle political disputes, there’s no place for that,” he said.
Karl replied by making the extremely petty observation that Trump “did not denounce what happened on Jan. 6th [exactly] on Jan. 6th.”
Of course, he neglected to consider that Democrats not did denounce what happened over the summer EVER …
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