Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said Thursday that President Trump bears some responsibility for the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“Look, I think he plainly bears some responsibility,” Mr. Cruz told NBC-DFW TV. “At the end of the day, criminals are responsible for their own conduct, and the terrorists who conducted that attack — they bear the responsibility — but I think his angry rhetoric was reckless and I think it was harmful.”
Mr. Cruz, one of the president’s top backers on Capitol Hill, said he’s long disagreed with how Mr. Trump has conducted himself.
“I think he has been called out for his rhetoric over and over and over again,” he said. “The president has said things for four years that I’ve disagreed with. I disagree with a lot of what he says.”
Mr. Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri raised objections to individual states in the Electoral College vote tally on Wednesday, ensuring that there would be up to two hours of debate on the objections.
“The job that I was elected to do is to fight for the people of Texas, and what I was doing is debating on the floor of the Senate election integrity,” Mr. Cruz said. “How we can protect the integrity of our elections. That has nothing to do with this criminal terrorist assault, which was wrong and needs to be prosecuted.”
Some senators who had initially indicated they would object to the results backed off once lawmakers returned after the Capitol was overrun by a pro-Trump mob.
Mr. Cruz said he would do the same thing over again if he could.
“Yes, absolutely I would object and urge that we should follow the law and follow the Constitution,” he said.
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