Republicans 'desperately trying to deflect blame' for Capitol riot: analysis
Ron Johnson on CNN -- screenshot

On Saturday, writing for the Huffington Post, Arthur Delaney and Amanda Terkel documented the false claims made by Republicans as they are "desperately trying to deflect blame" from themselves for the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

"Some Republicans, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), have admitted what actually happened," they wrote. "But others are compiling a growing list of distractions, excuses and alternate theories of the day's events, hoping that as time passes, the public forgets what actually went on."

Among the lies and deflections noted by the analysis: the claim by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) that the rioters were not there for "any single reason"; the false claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blocked Capitol Police requests for assistance; the claim from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that this really wasn't any different from Black Lives Matter's "siege" on the White House last year; and the claim from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) that many of the rioters were "agent provocateurs" and "fake" Trump supporters.

Even some Republicans who initially blamed Trump ultimately tried to walk it back.

"In January, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Trump "bears responsibility" for the attack. A week later, however, he said he didn't actually believe Trump had 'provoked' the mob of his supporters," said the analysis. "And in an interview that aired a day later, McCarthy found a way to both blame Trump for the riot while not really blaming him at all. 'I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility,' he said."

Ultimately, ten Republicans in the House and seven in the Senate crossed over to accuse Trump of incitement of insurrection for his promotion of far-right conspiracy theories prior to the Capitol riot, and his refusal to call off the rioters until well after the destruction was underway.