‘The mob was fed lies:’ McConnell blames Trump for Capitol riot

President Trump Gives State Of The Union Address
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) greets Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) after delivering his State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 04, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump delivered his third State of the Union to the nation the night before the U.S. Senate is set to vote in his impeachment trial. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is explicitly pointing his finger at President Donald Trump for helping to spur the attack on the Capitol by the outgoing president’s supporters.

The Kentucky Republican said Tuesday on the Senate floor, “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”

McConnell spoke six days after the Democratic-led House impeached Trump on charges of inciting the Jan. 6 attack. A Senate trial on whether to convict Trump and perhaps bar him from ever again holding federal office is expected to begin in coming days.

After years of supporting Trump with little criticism of him, the influential McConnell has said he’s not decided whether he would vote to convict him.

His decision may prove critical because in a Senate that will be divided 50-50 between the two parties, it would take 17 Republicans to join all Democrats for the two-thirds margin needed for conviction.

Joe Biden replaces Trump as president at noon on Wednesday.