McCarthy begs GOP to defend him after he said 'everybody' is to blame for riot

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McCarthy's waffling over the deadly attacks at the Capitol is leading to a barrage of criticism.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office on Saturday sent an email to a group of House Republicans asking them to come to his defense, Axios reported,  after McCarthy went from blaming Donald Trump in part for the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol to saying "everybody" deserved blame for the terror attack.

In the email, McCarthy's digital director, Caleb Smith, said, "HuffPost and the Blue Checks have been out in full force today trying to distort Leader McCarthy's words in an effort to divide America even further. They deserve to be called out. Would greatly appreciate your help in pushing back by retweeting this," which links to a tweet in which McCarthy defends his position on the riots.

McCarthy has gone back and forth now on who is to blame for the attack carried out by a mob of Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol to try to block the certification of President Joe Biden's victory after being fed lies by Republicans about a stolen election — including from McCarthy himself.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, McCarthy first said Trump deserved blame, writing in a Jan. 8 statement, "When I spoke to President Trump on Wednesday, I told him he had a great responsibility to intervene to quell the mob and start the healing process for our country."

But on Thursday, McCarthy shifted his position, saying at a news conference, "I don't believe he provoked, if you listen to what he said at the rally."

Then, in an interview that aired on Sunday, McCarthy changed his position again, telling former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren that, "I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility" for the attack.

McCarthy's waffling on who to blame for the insurrection — in which 139 law enforcement officers were injured, according to a Justice Department report, including a Capitol Police officer who died — comes as McCarthy faces pressure from warring factions within the GOP on how to handle the attack.

On one side, corporate donors are refusing to give money to the Republican effort to win control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections. And on the other, pro-Trump House Republicans are angry McCarthy isn't on board with punishing the GOP lawmakers — like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) — who voted to impeach Trump over the insurrection.

"We're eating shit for breakfast, lunch and dinner right now," a McCarthy aide told Axios.

Prior to the Capitol attack, McCarthy had been propping up Trump's election lies for months.

He refused to admit Biden won even after the Electoral College certified the results in December, more than a month after the election.

And he was one of more than 100 Republicans who supported a failed Texas lawsuit that sought to invalidate the 2020 results in four states Biden won.

He was also one of the 147 House Republicans who voted to overturn Biden's win even after the insurrectionists stormed the Capitol in a failed coup attempt.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.