Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday criticized the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) decision to censure Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger and the organization’s description of the Capitol riot as “legitimate political discourse.”
“We were here, we saw what happened,” McConnell said during his weekly press conference. “[Jan. 6] 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.”
“With regard to the suggestion that the RNC should be in the business of picking and choosing Republicans who ought to be supported,” McConnell said, “traditionally, the view of the national party committees is that we support all members of our party regardless of their positions on some issues.”
The RNC formally censured the duo Friday in response to their continued criticism of former President Donald Trump and participation in the select committee investigating the riot. It accused them of participating in the “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
McConnell did say that he had confidence in Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chair, but he repeated his opposition to the RNC’s actions. “The issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views … that’s not the job of the RNC.”
McConnell is not the only Republican to question the RNC’s move.
“Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol,” said Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. “Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost.”
Romney later said that he texted McDaniel, his niece, to express his disagreement.
Cheney and Kinzinger also responded to the censure Friday. “I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump,” Cheney said ahead of the RNC’s action.
“They’ve allowed conspiracies and toxic tribalism [to] hinder their ability to see clear-eyed,” Kinzinger said of the RNC and his own party, referring to former President Donald Trump’s influence over it.
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