Local Trump leader argues president not responsible for uprising

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Credit: Julio Cortez

Credit: Julio Cortez

Kettering City Councilman Rob Scott, who has been part of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign efforts, argued that Trump is not responsible for his supporters storming the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

Scott said he doesn’t condone Wednesday’s actions, calling them “ridiculous” and “out of hand.” But asked if President Trump’s frequent outbursts on Twitter or elsewhere caused or contributed to the insurrection, Scott said, “No, I honestly don’t.”

ExplorePhotos: Protesters storm Capitol, force halt to election process

“I think he’s certainly expressing frustration with our states and our courts, and how there are a lot of irregularities that have gone unanswered in election,” Scott said. “There are a lot of people who won’t stand up for what they’re viewing as fraud in the system.”

Several Democratic legislators criticized Trump for inciting the crowds. Speaking at his “Save America March” earlier Wednesday, Trump said he would not concede the election and encouraged his supporters to march toward the Capitol.

“Our country has had enough and we will not take it any more,” Trump said.

Trump right-hand man Rudy Giulani, speaking about election disagreements at the same event, called for “trial by combat.”

Rob Scott
Rob Scott

Scott, a lawyer and former Montgomery County Republican Party chairman, was state director for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. During the past two months, he was involved in Trump’s legal challenges in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Scott said concerns about election integrity are central to Republicans’ frustration, but they’re not the only issue. He claimed the “fringe elements” of both parties are not treated equally, pointing to outbursts last year that left city blocks in multiple cities ablaze.

“There’s some anger that started from well over a year ago when there was rioting in Minneapolis and throughout the country,” Scott said. “This is a response (from people) on the other side of the aisle that are angry that there are a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to election integrity.”

Trump’s legal team has filed dozens of state and federal legal challenges in the past two months, but they have been rejected by a variety of courts. Scott argued that those rejections were based more on procedural rules than the quality of the evidence.

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Many Republicans — from Ohio elections chief Frank LaRose to Georgia’s top elections officials, to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — have acknowledged that Joe Biden won the presidential election.

Asked where he thought America was headed from here, Scott said “there’s a lot of anger in our country,” and he thinks there “needs to be some healing on both sides” but acknowledged that will be difficult.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow for my side of the aisle, for (Democrats) to say they want unity after they spent four years bashing President Trump,” said Scott, who currently serves as a regional administrator for the Small Business Administration.

Reminded that 10 years ago, McConnell and Republicans made obstructing Barack Obama their top priority, Scott agreed that both parties do that to an extent. He claimed Democrats’ approach was worse.

“My side of the aisle feels that Joe Biden and the Democrats stole the election,” Scott said. “The Democrats four years ago said Trump was bought and paid for by Vladimir Putin. It’s the same thing. Is it right? No. … Also I don’t think it’s right for the Democrats to say we should all come together and hold hands.”

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