House Minority Whip Steve Scalise pointed out on Sunday that while former president Donald Trump condemned rioters who stormed Capitol Hill on January 6, Democrats failed to adequately respond to violence during anti-police protests last summer.
"Surely, there's a lot of blame to go around," Scalise said on ABC's "This Week" aired on ABC.
"You saw the left denouncing January 6, as we did. They didn't denounce what happened during the summer. So 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."
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."— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 21, 2021
Scalise: "President Trump has denounced what happened." pic.twitter.com/BSCttCKckR
Scalise also made it clear he did not support the idea of blaming the former president for the riots, referring to the fact that Trump urged protesters to be calm, refrain from violence and eventually, go back home.
"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 when they were burning down cities," Scalise said.
Scalise's comments came in response to host Jon Karl's questions about the Republican whip's visit with Trump at the latter's Mar-a-Lago resort this weekend. Karl asked Scalise if he acknowledged Joe Biden's win in the 2020 election as legitimate. For over two months, ex-president Trump had been challenging the legitimacy of the election, alleging that there was systemic fraud in the voting that contributed to his defeat.
“Yes, he's the legitimate president,” Scalise stated of Biden. “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.”
“I think that's the biggest frustration many people have, is those states that didn't follow the law, are they going to keep doing that in the future, or are we going to finally get back to what the Constitution calls out for electing our leaders?” he said.
Following the events, the House impeached Trump on charges of incitement of insurrection. The Senate acquitted Trump last week: it was the second time lawmakers who sought to impeach him failed to obtain the needed 2/3 votes.
A wave of protests against racism and police brutality swept through the United States last year following the death of black citizen George Floyd in Minneapolis. Demonstrations, which rocked US cities all summer long, often turned into violent riots, In Seattle, it resulted in the intentional seizure of state property and whole parts of the city. While the National Guard was mobilized by some states to contain the violence, others opted not to do so, and the Trump administration repeatedly condemned the violence that took over the streets.