Senate

Schumer: RNC’s Jan. 6 rhetoric ‘chilling and plainly dangerous’

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday criticized the Republican National Committee (RNC) for referring to Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol as “legitimate political discourse” and said the censure of GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Liz Cheney (Wyo.) “crossed a line.” 

“There’s no debate to be had here: Jan. 6 was an armed insurrection. It was an attempt to reverse through violent means the outcome of a free and fair election, and it was fundamentally rooted in Donald Trump’s big lie that the election of 2020 was illegitimate,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. 

Schumer added that the RNC resolution’s apparent reference to Jan. 6 as “legitimate political discourse” is “chilling and plainly dangerous” and would be a source of “everlasting shame” for the committee. 

“It puts us on a road where our democracy is at risk. It is a sad commentary on how far the political arm of the GOP has gone that the RNC will go out of its way to punish its own members who spoke out against the former president’s lies while defending the rioters who tried to undo an election with mob rule,” Schumer added.

The RNC passed a resolution on Friday censuring Cheney and Kinzinger, who serve on the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, for engaging in the “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse,” referring to those involved in the assault on the Capitol. 

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appeared to try to clarify the statement amid near immediate backlash, saying 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.

That did little to stem fierce criticism of the RNC’s resolution. It’s the latest insurrection-related headache Republicans have faced over the past week as former President Trump doubles down his claim that former Vice President Pence could have unilaterally overturned the election. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to comment on Monday on the censure resolution, indicating that he expected to questions on the issue during a weekly stake out on Tuesday.  

Tags Adam Kinzinger Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Jan. 6 Capitol attack Liz Cheney Mitch McConnell Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel

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