Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lashed out at the Republican National Committee for censuring U.S. Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Liz Cheney (R-WI). Both Kinzinger and Cheney sit on Nancy Pelosi’s partisan January 6 committee and have made numerous inflammatory statements about Trump and his supporters, at times comparing them to terrorists. McConnell agreed with their framing of the January 6 protests, however, calling the event a “deadly insurrection” in a statement.
The RNC took a vote last week to censure the two, which passed. The RNC resolution accused the committee of leading a “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse,” much to the dismay of McConnell. “It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next,” said McConnell. The Senate Minority Leader did note that he maintains confidence in RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, but added that the “the issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views than the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC.”
McConnell has made similar statements in the past. Immediately following the Capitol protests, McConnell accused Trump of inciting a “violent mob” by “feeding them lies” about the 2020 election. McConnell then circulated a memo that gauged interest on Republican support for impeaching Trump, but balked and ultimately voted to acquit after more than a third of Republicans vowed to leave the party if the GOP backed such a measure.
President Trump hit back at McConnell’s recent remarks in a statement of his own. “Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party, and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters. He did nothing to fight for his constituents and stop the most fraudulent election in American history,” Trump said. He also accused the longtime GOP leader of doing nothing to stop “the lawless Biden Administration”, the border crisis, political persecution of January 6 protesters or “unconstitutional mandates.”
President Donald J. Trump:
“Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party, and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters. He did nothing to fight for his constituents and stop the most fraudulent election in American history. And he does… pic.twitter.com/FiCzWWkm7I
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) February 9, 2022
Numerous polls have found Mitch McConnell to be America’s most unpopular senator in recent years. Both Kinzinger and Cheney are similarly unpopular among Republicans, with the Wyoming GOP voting to censure Cheney long before the RNC vote last week. McConnell himself was censured by the Kentucky GOP following his post-January 6 statements and tacit support of impeachment.