GOP senators break with Trump over ‘offensive’ January 6 Texas Rally tribute
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump’s extraordinary weekend tribute to those convicted in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol was a step too far for some Republican senators, including one of his main allies in Congress.
“I think the best thing for President Trump to do is focus on the issues that people are facing today. There’s no way to convince the American people that Jan. 6 was anything but a horrible day,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.), who supports Trump’s 2024 campaign despite the role of the former president in instigating the attack on Congress, HuffPost reported on Monday.
Graham said to suggest that the violent Jan. 6 riot involving hundreds of Trump supporters was “a walk in the park is offensive to me. This is not reality. It was one of the worst days in American history, and you have to look at it that way.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said he doesn’t believe focusing on past events like the Jan. 6 attack is a “recipe for success” for any candidate for political office.
“I’ve never seen anyone succeed in getting elected by running on something that happened in the past…. I think people want a positive view of the future,” Cornyn said.
Sen. Mike Rounds (RS.D.), meanwhile, expressed dismay that footage of the Jan. 6 uprising was shown on large screens while Trump appeared on stage.
“I was disappointed in the way he used the clips from that day. It was a bad day for this country,” Rounds told HuffPost. “What happened that day was as close to an attempted insurrection as we’ve seen in a very long time, and I don’t think any of us should be proud of this day.”
Hand on heart, Trump opened his rally in Waco, Texas on Saturday with a song called “Justice for All” which was recorded by a “choir” of people imprisoned for their role in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The recording is being used to raise funds to support the families of Trump supporters locked up on charges related to the January 6, 2021 violence. In the track, Trump is featured reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
That the event ― Trump’s first official rally since announcing his candidacy for the White House ― took place about 17 miles from the site of the federal government headquarters in 1993 against the Branch Davidian religious sect which made dozens of deaths, sent an unequivocal message to far-right extremists, experts said.
It also came a day after Trump raised the specter of violence if he became the first former president in US history to face criminal charges over silent payments made before his election in 2016 to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair 10 years earlier.
Most Republican senators have been willing to break with Trump over his support for the Jan. 6 convicts given that their lives and the lives of their staff were put at risk in a harrowing assault they personally suffered. But few are willing to publicly rule out backing Trump in the future on the matter.
“I don’t blame him for people taking the law into his own hands,” Graham said Monday when asked if Trump’s embrace of the Jan. 6 convicts would shake his support for the former president. “People were going to blow up [Democratic National Committee] headquarters before he even speaks. The thing is, I won’t be part of any effort to normalize January 6th. »
When asked twice if he would support Trump if he won the GOP nomination, Rounds said only that he was “looking at a number of other very qualified people who I think would make a great work as President of the United States”.
But another Trump ally, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), has suggested that Trump use the Jan. 6 attack on Congress to shell his grassroots voters in what is expected to be a crowded Republican primary.
“Most politicians are going to use whatever they can to gain an advantage,” Tuberville said. “I think as he speaks he’s trying to get everybody excited at the start of his campaign. Hey, it’s all about motivation and motivating people for a common cause.
“Now, is he right or wrong? I don’t know,” Tuberville added. “Voters need to respond to that.”
The Huffington Gt