House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Sunday made clear that he stands by former President Trump as he took great pains to deflect from Trump’s incitement of the mob behind the deadly Capitol insurrection last month.
Scalise claimed on ABC News that he just simply “ended” up at Mar-a-Lago last week to do “some fundraising” in Florida.
“I was in Florida doing some fundraising throughout a number of parts of Florida, ended up at Mar-a-Lago and the president reached out and we visited,” Scalise said. “I hadn’t seen him since he had left the White House and it was actually good to catch up with him. I noticed he was a lot more relaxed than his four years in the White House.”
After saying that his conversation with Trump in Florida was “more about how he’s doing now and what he’s planning on doing and how his family is doing,” Scalise was pressed on comments by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who blamed Trump for inciting the mob behind the deadly Capitol insurrection hours after the attack last month — only to later backtrack on his rebuke of the former president’s actions.
Holding fast to his loyalty to the former president, Scalise said that there was “a lot of blame to go around.”
“At the end of the day, the people who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, it was a disgrace and they need to be held accountable,” Scalise said.
Pressed again on Trump’s role in the deadly Capitol insurrection, Scalise turned his focus to the video montage used by Trump’s impeachment lawyers during the former president’s second impeachment trial that featured Democrats using the word “fight” in political speeches in relation to Trump’s “fight like hell” remark issued hours before rioters breached the Capitol.
“All they’ve done since the day (he) walked into office was try to impeach him,” Scalise said, referring to Democrats.
Scalise continued to repeatedly deflect from Trump’s role in inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol.
“Look, President Trump has denounced what happened and I think everyone should have been unequivocal in their denouncing of what happened not only on January 6 but during the summer,” Scalise said, referring to protests last year over multiple deaths of Black Americans due to police brutality. “Let’s be across the board and say anybody who resorts to violence to settle political disputes, there’s no place for that in America and it should be disputed unequivocally.”
Towards the end of his interview on ABC News, Scalise parroted Trump’s election fraud falsehoods by refusing to flat-out say that President Biden legitimately won the election.
“Once the electors are counted, yes, he’s the legitimate president,” Scalise said. “But if you’re going to ignore the fact that there were states that did not follow their own state legislatively set laws, that’s the issue at heart, that millions of people still are not happy with and don’t want to see happen again.”
Watch Scalise’s remarks below:
Rep. Steve Scalise evades questions on Pres. Trump's responsibility in inciting the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol: "Certainly there's a lot of blame to go around."@jonkarl: "I'm asking about Donald Trump's role in this."
Scalise: "President Trump has denounced what happened." pic.twitter.com/BSCttCKckR
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 21, 2021