House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sparked a wave of anger on Twitter Friday after he claimed “everybody across this country” is to blame for the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
In an interview to be aired Sunday, McCarthy attempted to clarify to Greta Van Susteren his apparent flip-flop on whether Trump was actually responsible for the violent mob. McCarthy earlier this week suggested Trump “bears responsibility” for the attack.
“I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility,” he said in an apparent backtrack to Van Susteren, citing divisive rhetoric on social media from people on both sides of the aisle.
Twitter users berated McCarthy for his comments.
Critics swiftly reminded the California Republican of Trump’s encouragement of his supporters, for which the House impeached the former president for a second time.
They also recalled the role played by other prominent GOPers in whipping Trump’s base up into a frenzy with baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
Actor Harry Shearer, who voices characters including Monty Burns and Ned Flanders on “The Simpsons,” slammed McCarthy with a dog poop analogy:
Dear Kevin McCarthy: Everybody across this country is responsible for the dog crap on my block not having been picked up. Got a bag?
— Dr. Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) January 23, 2021
Chess legend and political activist Garry Kasparov hit McCarthy with a “Jaws” ding:
The mayor in Jaws says everybody in town has some responsibility for the shark attacks. https://t.co/I2eJqLXPH5
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) January 23, 2021
Conservative attorney George Conway, a fierce critic of Trump despite his wife’s previous lofty position within the Trump White House, asked if it was “the insurrectionist version of ‘she was asking for it?’”
Is this the insurrectionist version of “she was asking for it”? https://t.co/ysd51YipAi
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) January 23, 2021
Other critics, many responding to a tweet from HuffPost politics reporter Igor Bobic, suggested McCarthy may have self-owned with his claim and hammered the GOP for “taking the whataboutism to a national level.”
Ok, so if I’m reading this right, Kevin McCarthy is saying he was at least in part responsible?
— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) January 23, 2021
Wow, taking the whataboutism to a national level. No @GOPLeader, we don’t all bear some responsibility, you prick. You do.
— James ミルキー Mielke (@LimitedRunJames) January 23, 2021
Serial liar Kevin McCarthy said "Everybody Across This Country" Is To Blame For Capitol Attack. Retweet if you had nothing to do with the riot at the Capitol and want to see this guy get indicted for treason.
— Aaron Black (@BlackCatUnloads) January 23, 2021
Kevin McCarthy said that "everybody across this country has some responsibility" for the attack on the US Capitol.
Well then everybody across this country has some responsibility for me telling Kevin McCarthy to go fuck himself.
— Steve Hofstetter (@SteveHofstetter) January 23, 2021
McCarthy is wrong. Trump incited them and radicalized them over 4 years to believe in conspiracy theories and his lies. Now he has left them into the dust and McCarthy is trying to shift the blame to others. WRONG @GOPLeader
— Jean Mulrine DeMange (@wellthom) January 23, 2021
Excuse me? No, and what a weak thing to say.
— Anita Creamer (@AnitaCreamer) January 23, 2021
No @GOPLeader Trump and @GOP are the only ones to blame for Jan 6th. Those arrested have specifically said they were there on Trump's invitation. @hawleyMO @SenTedCruz and you have supported Sedition and Treason. #ResignNow
— Lock Up The #GOPTraitors (@MythicalStig) January 23, 2021
In a new twist to his never ending lies that incited terrorism, Seditionist @GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy says everyone in the US is responsible for the MAGA attacks on January.
Just like a co-conspirator to blame the world other than those deserving of blame, himself and GOPers.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) January 23, 2021
— Ronny Chieng (@ronnychieng) January 23, 2021
This is worse than ‘both sides’ https://t.co/JqZpl2Mefd
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) January 23, 2021
Kevin McCarthy is responsible. I am not. Pass it on.
— Justin Horwitz (@JustinAHorwitz) January 23, 2021
Kevin McCarthy is responsible. I am not. Pass it on. https://t.co/FVQkCThHvc
— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) January 23, 2021
Kevin McCarthy is responsible. I am not. Pass it on. https://t.co/zc835u7oMW
— Chip Franklin InsideTheBeltway.com (@chipfranklin) January 23, 2021
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.