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Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said President Donald Trump gave a fiery speech Jan. 6 outside the White House before the crowded riot in the Capito

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Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said President Donald Trump gave a fiery speech Jan. 6 outside the White House before the crowded riot in the Capitol, but that he shouldn’t be blamed for the “lunatic fringe” of his political movement.

McClintock said he didn’t like Trump’s speech and that the president was wrong to assert that the vice president and Congress could choose which Electoral College votes to count. But McClintock said Trump’s exact words were for the crowd to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

“That’s impeachable?” McClintock asked. “That’s called freedom of speech.”

He characterized the speech as standard political talk.

“If we impeached every politician who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of partisans, this Capitol would be deserted,” McClintock said. “Every movement has a lunatic fringe.”

He said suppressing free speech isn’t the answer.

“Holding rioters accountable for their actions is the answer,” McClintock said.

– Bart Jansen

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