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McDaniel comes out against Trump plan to free Jan. 6 prisoners

Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel said Sunday that she doesn’t support former President Trump’s promise to free people imprisoned for crimes related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Trump has repeatedly promised to pardon whom he calls “patriots,” claiming they were jailed for political reasons after a violent mob broke into the Capitol.

“I want to be very clear. The violence that happened on January 6 is unacceptable. It doesn’t represent our country. It certainly does not represent my party,” McDaniel said in an NBC “Meet the Press” interview with Kristen Welker on Sunday.



“If you attacked our Capitol … and you’ve been convicted, then that should stay,” she said.

McDaniel told Welker that she is only now voicing her disagreement because she didn’t want to disagree with the former president while heading the RNC.

“When you’re the RNC chair, you kind of take one for the whole team,” she said. “Right now, I get to be a little bit more myself. This is what I believe.”

“I don’t think violence should be in our political discourse, Republican or Democrat. And I disagree with him on that,” she continued. “I agree with him on a whole host of other things. Let’s close the border. Let’s make sure we have good incomes for people. Let’s make sure we do a lot of great things. But on that point, I don’t think we should be freeing people who violently attacked Capitol Hill police officers and attacked the Capitol.”

Trump’s promises of pardons and “patriot” remarks have drawn bipartisan criticism for minimizing political violence.

More than 1,350 people have been arrested on charges related to the Capitol riots, including more than 400 who were charged with assaulting police officers, according to the Justice Department.

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