GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy says all Americans are culpable for Capitol riot, not just him

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tried to deflect the blame for the US Capitol off of himself and onto the general populace as Trump supporters stormed the seat of Congress.

“As a nation, I know we sit back and we’re appalled by what we’re seeing,” Mr McCarthy said. “But I want everybody to take a deep breath and understand: We all have some responsibility here.”

The Washington Post reported on Mr McCarthy's comments.

He made the comments to ABC News on 6 January while Trump supporters fought against US Capitol police officers to gain access to the Congress.

Mr McCarthy has been the subject of intense criticism in the wake of the deadly insurrection, which left five dead, as he was among the GOP members parroting Mr Trump's debunked claims that massive voter fraud had cost him the 2020 election.

None of the scores of court cases filed to challenge the election results were successful.

Mr McCarthy said Mr Trump's supporters should "not be silent about" the alleged election fraud on the day of the Capitol insurrection.

"We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes," Mr McCarthy said on Fox News.

Mr McCarthy also signed his name to a failed lawsuit brought by the state of Texas challenging the election results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michigan.

The Republican Congressman also disagreed with the sentiment that Mr Trump was responsible for inciting the riot at the Capitol on 6 January.

“I don’t believe he provoked it, if you listen to what he said at the [Jan. 6] rally,” Mr McCarthy said.

He later repeated his assertion that everyone in the country - not just him and the other Republicans who championed Mr Trump's fraudulent claims that the election had been stolen - was responsible for the attack on the US Capitol.

“I thought the president had some responsibility when it came to the response,” Mr McCarthy said. “If you listen to what the president said at the rally, he said, ‘Demonstrate peacefully.’ And then I got a question later about whether did he incite them. I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility.”

Several House Democrats, including congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have called on Mr McCarthy to resign.

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