Jan. 6 committee leaders call McCarthy’s Trump comments ‘baseless’

Leaders of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection on Saturday denounced House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s recent comments about former President Donald Trump’s involvement.

Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) called out McCarthy’s “misinformation campaign” in a joint statement, saying his claims that Trump had “no involvement” in the Jan. 6 riot are “baseless.”

The statement ties McCarthy’s comments to an anonymous report that said the Department of Justice “concluded that Donald Trump did not cause, incite, or provoke the violence” on Jan. 6. Members of the select committee looked into the origins of the report and discovered it had no merit, the statement says.

“We’ve received answers and briefings from the relevant entities, and it’s been made clear to us that reports of such a conclusion are baseless,” Thompson and Cheney said in the statement.

The committee leaders also called out McCarthy for inconsistency with his comments on the Capitol insurrection.

Shortly after the riot — in which Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building — McCarthy said in a speech on the House floor that Trump “bears responsibility” for the attack. But McCarthy has since walked back those comments, suggesting in separate instances that Trump did not provoke the riot and that the then-president responded sufficiently to the news of the attack.

“We also remind Minority Leader McCarthy of his statements following January 6th, including his statement from the House Floor on January 13th — which are inconsistent with his recent comments,” the statement says.


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