Sasse blames Trump for riot at Capitol: ‘Lies have consequences’
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) blamed President Trump for the riots and violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, saying the president “cowered behind his keyboard.”
“Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution,” Sasse, who has been a critic of Trump’s in the past, said in a statement.
“Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division,” he continued.
Violence broke out at the Capitol on Wednesday after thousands of Trump supporters descended upon Capitol Hill opposing the Electoral College results.
House and Senate lawmakers had met in a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College votes showing President-elect Joe Biden’s win, but some Republican senators led by Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Josh Hawley (Mo.), planned to challenge the results.
Sasse strongly criticized the efforts to oppose the results, calling it “dangerous.”
“Let’s be clear what is happening here: We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage,” Sasse wrote in an open letter to constituents last week.
“But they’re wrong — and this issue is bigger than anyone’s personal ambitions. Adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government,” he added.
Trump released a video message hours after the rioters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, telling them to go home. However, the president repeated his unfounded clams of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election during that video.
“You have to go home now. We have to have peace,” Trump said. “We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.”
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