Last week, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) told House Republicans on a call that Trump bears some blame for the Capitol riots and that he had accepted some responsibility.
On the House floor he said: “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. These facts require immediate action by President Trump.”
One week later, McCarthy changed his tune, he’s now saying Trump is not responsible for the attack.
“I don’t believe he provoked it if you listen to what he said at the rally,” McCarthy told reporters.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell is putting the blame for the riots squarely on Donald Trump.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
The disconnect between the two congressional Republican leaders further highlights the crisis in the Republican party in the post-Trump era. Republicans like McConnell want to remove Trump as far as possible from the party and those like Kevin McCarthy wants to keep him close because he was able to drive turnout.
“Every former president still has a role within their party,” McCarthy said on Thursday. “This president brought a lot of great success. He brought people to the party who hadn’t been involved before and he should continue to engage in that way.”
Watch McCarthy disagreeing with himself below: