'RNC handed Democrats a political gift' with their claim Jan. 6 was 'legitimate political discourse': MSNBC host

Over the weekend, the Republican Party decided to use a different tactic in dismissing the Capitol riots by seemingly describing the rioters as engaging in "legitimate political discourse."

Addressing the issue on Monday, MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin noted that it was essentially a gift to Democrats eager to remind the country of right-wing violence.

Conservative Charlie Sykes noted that Republicans sunk themselves from the beginning because they refused to participate in any bipartisan investigation of Jan. 6.

"All of this is in service of showing their loyalty to Donald Trump," said Sykes. "So, they bought the ticket and they're now taking a ride. They become increasingly invested in revising — doing revisionist history of the insurrection. I mean, what you saw on Friday was the Republican National Committee fully embracing the insurrection, whitewashing it, turning it from as you just saw, this violent attack on the U.S. Capitol — somehow into a peaceful protest of people who were legitimately protesting the election. This is not where the Republican Party wants to be in the midterms, but they've made this choice."

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The problem for the GOP, he continued, is that Trump will continue to make 2022 about the 2020 election and the riots he incited.

"Every single Republican politician in the country needs to be asked: do you agree with Mike Pence or with Donald Trump?" Sykes also said. "Do you support the censure of Adam Kinzinger or Liz Cheney or don't you? You had a lot of flop sweat from Marco Rubio because these are tough questions but the question of Pence or Trump is a yes or no question and I think it is going to be very difficult for Republicans to dance their way around it, which is of course what they desperately want to do."

Mohyeldin turned to former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) to ask about this being a political disaster for the GOP.

"Claire, I'm not a politician. I've never made a political ad in my life. I am looking ahead to 2022 and I see these words, 'legitimate political discourse,' and I see Michael Fanone being tased with a stun gun and all I'm thinking is the RNC just handed Democrats a political gift," he explained. "Why isn't the DNC going to run an ad in every single district with the words 'legitimate political discourse' over that video and others?"

McCaskill said that all of those ads are coming and that the GOP will never be able to convince Americans that Jan. 6 was acceptable.

"But I think it is important to remember here that the fight for control of Congress is not going to be waged in bright red places that Marco Rubio is busy kowtowing to because he still has some fantasy he is going to be president some day," McCaskill continued. "And it's not going to be in bright blue places where everyone is convinced of the seriousness of what Donald Trump did to our democracy with his encouragement of the insurrection and the big lie. It's going to be won or lost in places where there are people that voted for Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Those voters are who the committee needs to focus on communicating with. Those voters are going to be the ones to decide whether Mitch McConnell is going to be in charge of the senate."

See the full conversation below:

Republicans downplay Jan. 6 as no big deal www.youtube.com