Former Trump ally and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, has turned on the president and accused Trump of ‘provoking’ the deadly Capitol riots (Pictures: Reuters)
One of Donald Trump’s most powerful allies has sensationally turned on the president and accused him of ‘provoking’ the January 6 Capitol riots. Addressing the US Senate on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: ‘The mob was fed lies. 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. But we pressed on. We stood together, and said an angry mob would not veto power over the rule of law in our nation.’
Senator McConnell spoke out 13 days after the deadly Washington DC riots, which killed five protesters and a Capitol police officer. His decision to turn on Trump spells bad news for the president at his upcoming impeachment trial, with other member’s of Trump’s Republican party now more emboldened to convict him.
McConnell was previously one of Trump’s strongest defenders, and voted to acquit him at his first impeachment trial in 2020 over alleged abuse of office.
But he is said to have grown weary of Trump after the president’s repeated insistence that Joe Biden had only won last November’s presidential election as a result of voter fraud.
And McConnell is said to have ‘washed his hands’ of Trump after the January 6 riots, which began shortly after the President addressed a ‘Save America’ rally.
The Washington DC event saw Trump address thousands of supporters, and urge them to walk the short distance to the US Capitol afterwards, where Joe Biden’s win was formally being certified by Congress and US Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence had previously ignored Trump’s pleas to overturn the result at the certification – a ceremonial procedure which is not intended as a means of challenging the result.
McConnell’s accusation over the January 6 riots, pictured, are likely to increase the chances of Trump being convicted at his upcoming impeachment trial (Picture: Reuters)
That saw Trump rile his supporters up, hundreds of whom subsequently stormed the nearby Capitol, with some filmed chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’ as the did so.
The ensuing riot saw the storied building trashed, with Pence, senators and representatives all rushed to safety.
Trump was subsequently impeached over the violence, after being accused of inciting violence against the US government.
He will be tried on that charge in the Senate in the coming weeks. If convicted, the president will be banned from running for office again, and will also lose a generous travel allowance, as well as his Secret Service protection.
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