McConnell breaks with RNC: Jan. 6 'violent insurrection'

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Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) heads to the Senate Chamber to open up the Senate for the week on Monday, February 7, 2022.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) heads to the Senate Chamber to open up the Senate for the week on Monday, February 7, 2022.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized the Republican National Committee (RNC) for its censure of Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and broke with their language on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, calling it a "violent insurrection."

"It was a violent insurrection with the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election. ... That's what it was," McConnell said.

The RNC sparked fierce backlash after it described Jan. 6, when a mob of former President Trump's followers breached the Capitol, as "legitimate political discourse" in a resolution censuring Kinzinger and Cheney.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appeared to try to clarify the resolution, alleging in a statement that the two GOP lawmakers were involved in persecuting citizens "engaged in legitimate political discourse" but "that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol." The last section was not in the RNC resolution.

McConnell said he had confidence in McDaniel but that the job of the RNC was supporting all Republicans, not "singling out" members of the party.

"This issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views from the majority. That's not the job of the RNC," he added about the censure resolution.