Former House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday pointed blame toward former President Donald Trump for what happened during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“I watched, like everybody else did, every day after the election when Donald Trump was making these exaggerated claims about the election outcome,” Boehner told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” in a pre-recorded interview. “And so, Donald Trump does, in fact, bear some of the blame for what happened on Jan 6.”
The Capitol breach that day delayed Congress’ formal count of electoral votes that eventually certified Joe Biden as the 2020 election winner. Earlier that day, Trump told supporters at a rally outside the White House to march to the Capitol to protest the election’s results amid unfounded accusations of widespread fraud.
Boehner’s comments come less than a week after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would create an independent commission to investigate the attack. The former House Speaker noted it “is hard to get both parties to agree to a fair commission.” However, he added that “the American people absolutely need to know what happened” on Jan. 6.
Boehner — who served as Speaker from 2011 to 2015 — also acknowledged that while there’s a divide between pro- and anti-Trump Republicans, Democrats are just as divided.
“Democrats have the same problems between traditional Democrats and, you know, the Left Wing Progressives, and so it’s kind of a feature of a modern day politics, when you have essentially a two-party system,” Boehner said.
A recent Gallup poll showed the number of Americans identifying as Republicans or as Independents who lead towards the GOP dropped to 40% in the first quarter of 2021. The number of Democrats or Independents leaning left hit 49%. The nine-percentage-point lead is the largest Democratic advantage Gallup has measured since 2012.
Host Shepard Smith also asked Boehner about the recent string of cyberattacks against the U.S.. The former House Speaker said he thinks President Joe Biden needs to make “it very clear to [Vladimir] Putin that enough is enough, and that either he takes action, or we will.”
Hacker collective REvil is behind the cyberattack on JBS, a source told CNBC. It caused JBS, the the world’s largest meat processor to shut down operations. The cyberattack forced the company to briefly grind operations to a halt at slaughterhouses and processing plants across the U.S.
JBS reported the organized cyberattack on its information systems just three weeks after a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline — the largest fuel pipeline in the United States — crippled fuel delivery for several days in the Southeastern part of the U.S. The FBI believes a group with ties to Russia called DarkSide carried out the attack on Colonial Pipeline, which paid $5 million to restore services.
Boehner noted that while the Russian hackers are non-state actors, “we know what happens in Russia — nobody acts without the blessings from on top, so Putin’s gonna have to do something about this.”