In an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos on Thursday, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) said there was more than enough blame to go around for the disgraceful scenes at the U.S. Capitol the day before. While Stephanopoulos was eager to refute the idea that anyone other than Trump and his supporters bore the blame for what happened, Mullin explained that people on both sides of the political divide have been fanning the flames of dissension for a long time.
“I never thought I was going to see this in the United States,” Mullin said. “Unfortunately, I’ve seen this before overseas, and we’re better than this, George. As a country we’re better than this. We can debate better than this. What we do in our country other countries look at. I get people getting passionate and being frustrated, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things, and yesterday was wrong. There’s absolutely no excuse for it. And we’re very fortunate a lot more people didn’t lose their lives. One is way too many.”
After explaining to Stephanopoulos what it was like inside the Capitol at the time of the siege, Mullin listened as the “Good Morning America” host blamed President Trump for inciting his supporters.
“That mob was encouraged by the president,” he said.
“I disagree with that,” Mullin replied. “We’re all responsible for our own actions. Full stop. It’s our actions. We’re all adults here, or are supposed to be adults. These flames have been fanned for over five years now.”
“By the president,” Stephanopoulos interjected.
“It’s all of us,” Mullin said. “The media’s to blame; the Right and the Left is to blame. But at the end of the day we’re all responsible for our own actions. We need to take a hard look at our country. We need to take a hard look at the way we debate. We can agree to disagree but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you; that doesn’t mean I don’t care for you; that doesn’t mean I don’t love this country any more or any less than you. But what we did yesterday was absolutely inexcusable.”
Needing the last word for some reason, Stephanopoulos concluded: “We didn’t do it; the mobsters did it; the rioters did it, the president encouraged it.”
The president, of course, encouraged no one to storm the Capitol building, break into the House and Senate chambers, assault Capitol Police, and take control of the premises. So if Stephanopoulos is so concerned about remaining on firm factual ground, he should begin by distinguishing between opinion and fact. Better yet, he and the rest of his liberal media colleagues should reflect on their hysterical reporting over the last five years – reporting that included a hell of a lot of outright fiction – and consider whether maybe that had something to do with this after all.