KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Republicans across the country are split on idea President Trump’s words and unfounded election allegations contributed to the violence on Capitol Hill Wednesday. We spoke to an East Tennessee Congressman, and WATE 6 On Your Side Political Analyst George Korda for perspective.
Korda called the riot embarrassing and appalling. “This isn’t a third world country. This isn’t a place where we assault federal buildings to intimidate elected officials to get them to do what we want them to do,” he said.
Put simply, he believes had there been no rally, and no commander-in-chief encouraging thousands of people to march to Capitol Hill, there would have been no riot.
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) disagrees. He called Wednesday “a very sad day” for the country, and said he believes the President bears no direct responsibility. “I think the President has always asked for peaceful actions…these people are responsible for their own actions,” he said.
Fleischman also voted twice to approve disputes with the electoral results in two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania, despite the dozens of failed legal challenges and recounts. “The American people, once again, have to have confidence in their elections…we’ve got to make sure that process is proper. I did not believe that it was,” he added.
Many GOP lawmakers opted not to object to the results following the riot at the Capitol, despite having planned to do so.
Korda provided insight into U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty’s decisions to vote to certify the results of the electoral college. The two originally planned to oppose certification. He explained a combination of the President’s words, and the mob’s assault on the Capitol building, made it “impossible” for them to stand by the President, despite being an ally throughout his term.
Throughout the Trump era, Korda has offered praise and criticism. Despite the accomplishments Korda says he’s seen from the administration, he believes the chaos at the Capitol Wednesday is how it will be remembered most. “The president has always been his own worst enemy, always. And, he was his own worst enemy yesterday.”