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Politics

Angus King: Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley 'Knew Damn Well That What They Were Doing Was Wrong'

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Robert F. Bukaty
/
Maine Public

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says Republican members of Congress who challenged the certification of the 2020 presidential election share some responsibility for last weeks events at the capital.

King appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes last night and spoke directly about Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

“I think it’s interesting that he (Cruz) and Hawley are probably in the top 10% of IQ of the U.S. Senate, and that makes it less excusable, what they did. Because they knew damn well that what they were doing was wrong and that it was inimical to the interest of this country,” he said.

After a rally last Wednesday, pro-Trump extremists ransacked the national’s capital, causing members of Congress to flee. Five people died during the event, which provoked calls for President Donald Trump to be impeached less than two weeks before he’s scheduled to leave office.

Congress later reconvened and certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. The president has been banned from multiple social media and online sites as a result of his speech to supporters prior to the event.

King said bipartisan and moderate senators are the “real winners” following the election.

“Compromise is the essence of human experience, and by the way, the Constitution itself is full of compromises. The U.S. Senate is itself the product of a compromise,” he said.

King said he and U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Jo Manchin may now have the ability to influence both conservative and progressive colleagues.

And he cautioned progressive politicians frustrated by the last four years of Republican lawmaking not to be retributive now that Democrats control the White House, the House and the Senate.

“You can’t just say no harm, no foul, and pretend nothing every happened. On the other hand, to be motivated by retribution or some element of vengeance or something — I don’t think that’s productive,” he said.