Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took aim at former President Donald Trump when asked about his reaction to the House Jan. 6 panel’s criminal referral of the former president to the Justice Department on Monday. 

“The entire nation knows who is responsible for that day. Beyond that, I don’t have any immediate observations,” McConnell told reporters when asked about the House select committee’s findings.

The committee, led by Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), recommended to the DOJ that Trump, 76, be charged with inciting or assisting an insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to make false statements to investigators, and conspiracy to defraud the US government. 

The panel had said it uncovered evidence Trump pushed claims he knew were false about the 2020 presidential election in an effort to change the election’s outcome. 

McConnell had previously laid blame on Trump for Jan. 6 on the Senate floor in February 2021, after the former president was acquitted of inciting an insurrection at his impeachment trial. 

Donald Trump has attacked McConnell since leaving the White House, calling the Senate Minority Leader a “disaster” and “broken down hack.”

“There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day,” McConnell, who voted to acquit Trump because he was no longer in office, said. 

Trump has attacked McConnell and his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, on numerous occasions since leaving the White House, referring to McConnell as a “disaster” and a “broken down hack” and to his wife as “China-loving.” 

A mob of supporters of Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the Capitol Building in Washington, DC on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump’s supporters climb the Capitol Building and fight with law enforcement on Jan. 6, 2021.

Some Senate Republicans said on Monday that they didn’t agree with McConnell’s assessment. 

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told CNN on Monday, “I haven’t seen a poll like that,” when asked about the Senate GOP leader’s comments. 

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is a member of McConnell’s leadership team, said the House select committee’s investigation was not credible, but added, “I don’t dispute that people saw it with their own eyes,” when asked about McConnell’s comment.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) responded, “I don’t know who he said was responsible but to me, the people that were responsible for January 6 were the people that illegally came into the building, people that stormed over barriers and broke through windows and doors and illegally trespassed in the United States Capitol.”

The former president brushed off the panel’s referral to the DOJ on Monday, writing in a statement posted on his Truth Social account: “These folks don’t get it that when they come after me, people who love freedom rally around me.  It strengthens me.  What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Americans know that I pushed for 20,000 troops to prevent violence on Jan 6, and that I went on television and told everyone to go home.” 

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