U.S. Rep. Ken Buck on Thursday assigned some blame for the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol to President Donald Trump, one day after saying Trump was not at all responsible for the destructive mob.
But the Windsor Republican does not think Trump should be removed from office.
“I think there’s plenty of blame to go around,” Buck said during an appearance on KDVR-TV. “The president deserves some of the blame. His language, obviously, got people fired up.”
Buck, who is also chair of the Colorado GOP, said he thinks the riot stems from years of political divisions in the U.S.
“I blame myself and I blame others in Congress for what happened,” he told KDVR. “The bottom line is we need to figure out a way to move forward and find ways to develop good policy without the kind of rhetoric and heat that has been developed.”
On Wednesday, hours after rioters breached the U.S. Capitol, Buck separated Trump from the mob. That’s despite the fact that the president, speaking at a rally near the Capitol, urged his supporters to head toward Congress and have their voiced be heard.
“I was a prosecutor for 25 years. When people do stupid things, the people that do those things are responsible,” Buck told The Colorado Sun during a brief interview on Wednesday. “The president didn’t order anybody to do this. This is a country that welcomes protest — peaceful protest. I don’t blame the president at all for this.”
Buck spoke to The Sun by phone soon after he was evacuated from the House floor. A spokeswoman for the congressman said he didn’t change his mind about Trump’s responsibility for the riot, but rather that those comments were just his initial reaction after the chaos.
One woman was fatally shot by police and three others died after what authorities called “medical emergencies” during the riot on Wednesday. Members of Congress were evacuated from the U.S. Capitol and debate over whether to approve the results of the 2020 presidential election was halted for hours as law enforcement pushed the mob out.
Meanwhile, all six Democratic members of Colorado’s congressional delegation are now advocating for Trump to be removed from office, either through the invocation of the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or through impeachment. Trump is scheduled to exit the White House and cede power to President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.
The 25th Amendment is a mechanism by which the vice president and either a combination of the president’s cabinet or a select group of members of Congress can remove the president from power.
“President Trump needs to be removed from office now,” U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette wrote on Twitter. “The vice president and cabinet need to invoke the 25th Amendment today. If they don’t, Congress should move to impeach him immediately.”
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, said he believes “the president is unfit for office and the administration should invoke the 25th Amendment.”
U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colorado, said “he’s on his way out, but I’d support any option to remove him from power faster.”
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Lafayette, said the 25th Amendment needed to be invoked “for the sake of our republic” and U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada, said removing Trump is the only way to ensure the peaceful transfer of power to Biden.
Buck rejected the idea of the 25th Amendment being invoked, citing the limited time Trump has left in office and the bad precedent that would set.
“I think that’s silly,” Buck told KDVR. “The president is not mentally incapable of performing.”
U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Aurora, said the country can’t wait until Jan. 20.
“We have known for a long time that Donald Trump is violent and unstable. After what happened yesterday, 13 days is too long,” Crow tweeted.