U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday that President Donald Trump and his courting of extremist elements were at least somewhat to blame for the siege of the Capitol last week.
The Senator, appearing in the Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” asserted that “the President does bear some responsibility” for the unprecedented mob violence that attempted to derail the certification of the Presidential election, saying it was the fault of outlier groups courted by the President.
Rubio told host Maria Bartiromo that Trump “indulged groups” that were not, as it turns out “part of the conservative movement,” but instead, apparently, were “wackos” and “nutjobs.”
“I can’t give you an assessment of every single person that went in there. But it’s clear now by the arrests that are being made what groups are saying online: that Qanon people are involved, this ridiculous conspiracy. Then you’ve got White supremacists in there. You’ve got the Proud Boys. It’s a rogue’s gallery of groups who thought they were going to storm the Capitol,” Rubio said.
“They thought they were going to apprehend the Vice President and Congress and have them pay the ultimate price, as they called it. String them up, they would say. I’ve had protests here in Florida calling for me to be strung up and others.”
“Nobody should be willing to do anything like what we saw Wednesday on behalf of another human being. Period. End of story,” Rubio said.
“I don’t care how much you agree with him,” Rubio said. “We’re seeing these disturbing quotes in the newspaper from people saying ‘I’m willing to die for Donald Trump.’ That just shouldn’t exist. That’s not normal. And that’s not good.”
“I don’t want to keep stoking that fire, but the President does bear some responsibility here, and that needs to be looked at,” Rubio said.
“We have for too long indulged some of these groups as part of the conservative movement. These are not conservatives. These are wackos. These are nutjobs.”
While “99%” of the people at the rally did not “storm the Capitol,” Rubio noted that an “element,” though “very small,” had “enough people to create a tremendous amount of damage and put a lot of people in danger.”
“We should be rejecting that group not after the fact, but before,” the Senator added. Conservatives, meanwhile, should “watch what we say and who we allow into the movement.”
“These are the people who can do terrible things” if they contend they were incited, Rubio said.
“It doesn’t matter what you meant, it matters what they thought you meant.”