WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined The Megyn Kelly Show for a conversation on how our country can move forward following the violent riots at the Capitol, and what led our country to this point. Whip Scalise emphasized what leaders from both parties, along with the mainstream media and Big Tech, must consistently do to bring down the national temperature and heal our divided nation.
Whip Scalise also discussed the dangers of cancel culture, Big Tech censorship of conservatives, and the inconsistency in condemnation of political violence and incendiary rhetoric when it comes from the left.
Key highlights of the interview are below:
On the violent attack at the Capitol:
“I said this back when I was shot [that] there were political motivations behind it but there’s absolutely no excuse for anybody to resort to violence. We all have political disagreements. It’s one of the foundations of our nation and the First Amendment. But it doesn’t give you the license to go and attack someone else. And look the people who got into the Capitol; they had to first attack police. There was a police officer who was murdered, killed out there – Officer Sicknick. People had to crawl through broken windows to get there. You’re trespassing and it’s anarchy at that point. You’re violating the law. What was your motivation? Look I’ve talked about [how] President Trump should’ve been unequivocal in denouncing what had happened the day of the violent attack and he wasn’t that day. He did later, but you know ultimately anyone who crosses the line and says they’re going to resort to violence of any kind at that point you ought to be charged, and they are being charged by the way. You ought to go to jail, you ought to be held accountable for violating the law at that point.”
On needing to consistently condemn political violence on both sides:
“Megyn, it’s amazing to see the righteous indignation from the left. And just keep the perspective that first of all, presidents have legal options, candidates for president have legal options to go to the courts. You know Al Gore did it. It took over a month for the Bush v. Gore case to get resolved. Nobody accused him of sedition. You just look over the summer where you had violence in the streets where cities were burned down, cops were being shot and murdered, people were being beaten and murdered in the streets the entire summer. I was calling that out. You never saw the left calling it out. In fact, you’ve had some Members of Congress encouraging the violence during the summer. You know, nobody said there’s blood on their hands. Nobody called for people to be removed back then. Again, I’ve called this out on both sides, Megyn, and we have to. If you see violence, if you see people taking the law into their own hands to go and attack and hurt other people, that has to be called out, not just when it’s happening on the other side of the political aisle, but on both sides. And those on the left weren’t calling it out during the summer but today want to act as if they have some moral high ground. We ought to all be disgusted when we see it no matter where violence comes from.”
On election integrity:
“First of all, the Texas lawsuit that many Members signed an amicus brief for, was asking the court to address one of the fundamental questions that’s been at the heart of this. And that is the United States Constitution says that it’s legislatures in each state set the rules for electing a president. That did not happen in a number of states. They went around their legislative bodies. Whether they went to a Secretary of State they got a court ruling that would be favorable to them, but they didn’t go through their legislatures. And at some point, are we going to address that problem. We asked the court to look at that. And the court did not do it. Asking the court to look at a question, last time I checked is not seditious either. But in the end if you go back and look at the electoral college certifications being counted, that has been challenged by democrats for every Republican president this century. So literally every Republican president, George W. Bush, George W. Bush the second time, and Donald Trump, Democrats challenged that in Congress just as it was done two weeks ago. And you never heard the term sedition. And in fact, in 2005 a majority of Democrats did not vote to certify the state of Ohio. They were not successful but that would’ve overturned the election, and nobody called them any kind of names. This isn’t something new, it’s a part of the process. The Constitution lays it out. If somebody doesn’t like that process, they ought to change the law. And no one’s suggested it in the past when Democrats were using it.”
“The Supreme Court ultimately didn’t take the case at all, but I’d like to see us look at election reform not where we have a federal election standard but where we at least say, shouldn’t we know the results on election night? Shouldn’t we have some kind of signature verification, some basic standards that then let states go run their election but with a standard where you know there’s going to be some integrity throughout the process? You see abuses. Look, in our state I was very active when I was a state legislator at cleaning up our problems. We had an election commissioner who went to jail. There were people going to jail for voter fraud all the time. And we cleaned it up. Some states still haven’t cleaned it up. I wish they would. And maybe going forward we take this as an opportunity to say is there a better way to do it. Look, Megyn, in the state of New York there’s still a congressional seat that hasn’t been certified yet. Claudia Tenney has been up since the very beginning. And yet they still won’t call that election. That’s ridiculous. Two months later we still don’t have an answer. And that district isn’t even being represented right now in Congress. That’s the kind of stuff we want to see fixed. If the laws on the books in New York they need to follow the law in New York, and they’re not.”
“I think it’s still a conversation that millions of people want to resolve. And again, you don’t resolve problems by ignoring them and, you know, calling other people names and we’re not even going to have this conversation. We need to fix problems where we see them. and then, you know, look, we’re going to get beyond this but were going to be a healthier nation if we resolve the issues that people have that are rooted in the law. You know, let’s get back to the law. What’s the purpose of having the constitutional requirement that legislatures set these rules if we’re not going to follow the rules that they set? You know, were a nation of laws, lets follow those rules. And if the rules have problems lets go fix them.”
On cancel culture:
“Look, I mean, this cancel culture, Megyn, has got to stop. It’s been going on for years now where, you know, more and more you see [from] the left if people disagree with you, [they] just try to shut them down. [They] don’t want to engage in conversation. It’s been going on on college campuses for over a decade now where if you’re a conservative they don’t even let you speak. I thought college was supposed to be where you go to learn, to challenge your ideas against other people that have different ideas and maybe you might change your mind. You might sharpen your focus on things. … Again, are they trying to cancel all of the Democrats who have for years [in] every election this century that a Republican has been elected President they challenged it on the Democrat side? Are they going to cancel them as well? Again, be consistent. If you want to push some radical agenda just know that [you need to] be consistent on both sides. But that’s not where we need to go as a country. We’re not a cancel culture nation. The First Amendment is something that we cherish and it’s one of the things that makes us the greatest nation in the history of the world. We’ve got flaws, we’ve got problems like anybody, but you don’t see people leave other countries to go seek out, you know, the Moscow Dream or the French Dream – they seek out the American Dream. And it’s still alive and well, it’s being tested, we’ve got to stand up to this moment.”
On Twitter’s selective censorship:
“You know, Twitter is getting into a place where their policy is very inconsistent on who they ban. You know, everybody points to the Ayatollah [who] is still out there spewing anti-American and anti-Israel messages and [Twitter] is ok with that? You know, the Chinese Communist Party is still able to disseminate false information on a regular basis. You know, if they’re going to have a policy, shouldn’t it be consistent or is it just targeting conservatives? You know, we’ve seen over and over where they are very quick to ban a conservative but they’re not going to ban a liberal who is doing the same thing. You know, that inconsistency is starting to be pointed out a lot more.”
On the double standard from the left on incendiary rhetoric:
“Yeah, the double standard, Megyn, is very clear for everyone to see. And, you know, by the way, if you go back and look at the last four years from the day that the President was sworn in you had that resist movement. You know, you even had the Speaker of the House saying that the election was hijacked. And, you know, go back and look at all of that hyper-charged rhetoric for four straight years. Not to mention the Russian hoax and the impeachment hoax. I mean, just nonstop, every day, going after this President for anything and everything. And, you know, trying to deny that he was even elected President. So, again, the righteous indignation and the double standard is what people are looking at too, saying, you know, tone it down.”
“Yeah, you know, Megyn, this is something that concerns me in general because the tone, the rhetoric is hyper-charged right now. But, you know, to just – first of all – nobody condones people who broke the law. And you can be angry, I know there are probably millions of people today that are disgusted by the storming of the Capitol but that are also very angry with how the last four years has played out and the constant barrage of attacks against the President when, you know, there was not even anything to claim about him, they were still saying to deny he’s President and just go after him every day. Go after his Cabinet Secretaries in restaurants and run them out of restaurants. That was going on, Megyn, and people watched it and celebrated it on the left. No one of the left was calling that out for years, and people just built a powder keg and we’ve got to now start focusing on diffusing it. Again, the left just wants to cancel everybody who is a Republican. That’s ultimately where they’re going with this. So, you know, no matter what you do you’re to blame, but [Democrats] aren’t to blame. You know, when cities were being burned down and cops were being shot, some of them were saying, ‘Well, that’s just what people do.’ No, that’s not what people do, and it’s got to be called out unequivocally on both sides. The left has to be consistent in this – they’re not. That’s got to change, and the rhetoric has got to tone down.”
On what led to the divide in the country:
“To think that the anger that’s been building up in our country just happened since the election is to ignore what’s happened the last four years, and to see how it’s been building and who has been behind helping build it. You know, some people just want to point to the Republican side and say we can cancel them by blaming them for everything. They will have ignored what has been going on in this country for years, including how it really ignited over the summer. And again, there were some people who were protesting peacefully and then there were some people who were out destroying cities and shooting and killing cops and innocent civilians, and that wasn’t being called out by both sides. And, you know, now they want to, again, the righteous indignation, they want to go and try to assign blame today, but they were encouraging this for a long time too. They’ve got to look in the mirror, we all need to look in the mirror. But to say it’s only one side doing it is to be completely dishonest.”
“You know, early off I said when I found out [the shooter] was an active Bernie supporter, I said Bernie is not the reason this happened. This person went off the edge and he committed a violent act, tried to kill a lot of us, and he’s been held accountable. And, you know again, you saw it coming together but you didn’t see indignation and repudiation of the entire left over [Bernie], as we shouldn’t have. But today, you are seeing that, and I think it’s people trying to exploit a situation where they want to shift accountability. Hold the people accountable who stormed the Capitol. They are being held accountable, by the way. I didn’t see people saying, ‘Hey, when we’re seeing buildings being burned down let’s go find the video of all the people that were burning down those buildings and arrest them.’ They should have been arrested over the summer for committing violent acts. Very few were. Today I think you’re seeing across the board, the people who were coming to the Capitol, there’s a lot of videos and images. Many have been arrested, people in each community are identifying people they know that were there in those videos. Their family members are saying, ‘Hey, that was my brother in that video.’ And that’s a good thing.”
On how impeachment will further divide the country instead of helping us move forward:
“Well, Megyn, the first thing that people should be wanting to do is to get all the facts out. It literally was days, less than a week after this happened where they brought impeachment to the Floor without even a hearing. That’s never happened in the history of our country. You know, it was just a rush to one more time go after the President without even being concerned about the facts. Facts are still coming out. Every day we are finding out more things. That’s where the focus should be. But also, again, to the point of does this help or further divide our country, clearly, it’s further divided the country. And, if they go forward in the Senate with some long trial, [President Trump] will already be gone from office first of all.
“You know, we need to be focusing on turning the corner, on bringing our country back together. But if the Senate wants to spend the first, you know, however many weeks of Joe Biden’s presidency on an impeachment trial that takes away from the things that we all should be working on to help get our country back on track, to round the corner on this virus, to safely reopen schools and help people get back to work. I mean, there are a lot of big things that we need to be doing and Donald Trump will not be in office when that happens.”