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2018 Veterans Day Free Meals and Discounts

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2018 Veterans Day Free Meals and Discounts – Over 100 Free Meals!

Happy Veterans Day! Veterans Day is celebrated this year on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. The Federal Holiday will be on Monday, Nov. 12th.

Many restaurants and companies thank our veterans each year by offering them discounts or a free meal.

To those companies offering veterans a free meal or discount, the military community gives a collective thanks!

Below you’ll find a continuously updating list of this year’s restaurant offers for veterans. Last year over 100 restaurants participated. Most restaurants announce offers at the end of October, up through Veterans Day. Stay tuned as we are frequently updating this page as offers become available, and check in with your locations for dates, participation, and availability.

FREE MEALS BEFORE VETERANS DAY

Huddle House, Nov. 9 – 12, 2018.

  • FREE order of Sweet Cakes (Huddle House’s fluffy, platter-size pancakes available in eight different flavor and topping combinations) to all active military members and veterans with proper I.D. on Veterans Day at all Huddle House locations nationwide. Locations.

Luna Grill, Nov. 10 – 12, 2018.

  • Buy One, Get One Free with purchase. Military service men and women and first responders will receive their choice of a complimentary signature wrap, plate or gourmet salad when they purchase a meal at Luna Grill. 10% daily discount for military and first responders. Locations.

Pilot Flying J, Nov. 10 – 12, 2018.

  • Free breakfast, including a free Pilot Coffee of any size with a choice of a PJ Fresh breakfast sandwich, packaged pastry item, or a Cinnabon Center of the Roll. Download (or open) the myPilot app Nov. 10-12 to find a coupon in myOffers. First-time users receive an additional free drink of their choice when downloading the app. Locations.

Rock Bottom Brewery, Nov. 10 – 12, 2018.

  • Free entree for all active duty military and veterans with military ID or in uniform. Other restrictions may apply, see your local Rock Bottom for details.

Shane’s Rib Shack, Nov. 8 – 10, 2018.

Spaghetti Warehouse, Nov. 9 – 11, 2018.

  • Buy one entrée, get one free. Coupon Required. Choose any of 11 Original Recipe Spaghetti entrées and receive a second entrée free. Friends and relatives are encouraged to treat a veteran to a meal. More info.

Tucanos Brazilian Grill, Nov. 9th, 10th, 12th, 2018.

  • Free Churrasco Meal with purchase of another Churrasco meal. (1/2 price meal available for veterans dining solo). More info.

FREE MEALS ON VETERANS DAY

The following offers are all on Veterans Day, Nov 11, 2018.

54th Street Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entree, up to $12, for Veterans and Active Duty Military. Proof of service required, Dine-in Only. More info.

A

Acapulco, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary meal. More info.

Applebee’s, Nov. 11, 2018: One of 8 entrées to choose from for a free meal. Military ID or proof of service required. You can read all about the offer in our post here, and get more information and check out all of Applebee’s locations on their website.

B

Back Yard Burgers, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Classic Burger for veterans and active duty military members. Bring proof of military service. Locations.

Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Great American Cheeseburger + Fries for military, veterans, and first responders. Dine-in Only. More info.

Baker’s Square, Nov. 11, 2018. Free breakfast choice of Buttermilk Pancakes, three pieces of French Toast, or a Belgian Waffle for veterans and active duty military members. Bring proof of military service. More info.

Bar Louie, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Flatbread or Burger, up to $15, with ID. You can check out Bar Loui’s website to see all of their locations and details on their Veterans Day promotion.

BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entree, up to $12.95 value, plus a free Dr. Pepper beverage. Offer valid to all active duty military and veterans, with proof of service. Dine-in only. Additional offer: Free Pizookie® for current or retired military from Nov. 1 – Nov. 30, 2018, while supplies last.  Locations.

Bob Evans, Nov. 11, 2018. Free select breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. For active duty military, retirees, and veterans with ID or proof of service. More Info.

Boston Market, Nov. 11 – Nov 12, 2018. Buy one individual meal with a drink and get a second free at all U.S. locations; coupon (but no I.D.) is required and available at BostonMarket.com. Available for all veterans, service members, and their families. No ID required.

Buffalo Wild Wings, Nov. 11, 2018. Free order of traditional or boneless wings and a side of fries to veterans and current military members. Dine-in only. Bring proof of military service. More info.

C

California Pizza Kitchen, Nov. 11, 2018. Choose a pizza, full-size salad, or pasta from the special Veterans Day Menu. Dine-in only. Please come in uniform or bring your military I.D. or other proof of service. More info.

Cattlemens Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2018. Free 8 oz Sirloin Steak Dinner on Veterans Day. Call your local Cattlemen’s for details and to verify participation. Proof of service required. More info.

CentraArchy Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal for veterans at select locations of New York Prime, California Dreaming, The Tavern at Phipps, Chophouse New Orleans, Carolina Roadhouse, Joey D’s Oak Room, Chophouse ’47 or Gulfstream Café. Find all the details at CentraArchy Restaurant’s website.

Chevys Fresh Mex, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary meal. More info.

Chili’s, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from a select menu. Dine-in only and participating locations only. Proof of military service required. More info.

Chipotle, Nov. 11, 2018. Buy-one/get-one free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos. Offer valid for all U.S. military (active-duty, Guard/Reserve, and retired military), military spouses with ID, and veterans. For in-restaurant orders only; offer not valid for online, mobile, fax, or catering orders. More info.

The Chop House, Nov. 11th, and Nov. 12th, 2018. 50% off any dine-in lunch or dinner entree to veterans with military ID or in uniform. Locations.

City Barbeque, Nov. 11, 2018. Free sandwich platter at participating locations. Proof of service required. More info.

Connors Steak & Seafood, Nov. 11th, and Nov. 12th, 2018. 50% off any dine-in lunch or dinner entree to veterans with military ID or in uniform. Locations.

Cotton Patch Café, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal for current and former military members. Choices include full-size chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken. Proof of service required. You can learn more on Cotton Patch Cafe’s site, as well as seeing where your nearest location is.

Cracker Barrel, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola® Cake for dessert or a Crafted Coffee. More info.

D

Dunkin’ Donuts, Nov. 11, 2018. Free donut to Veterans and active duty military at participating restaurants nationwide. More infoLocations.

E

East Coast Wings + Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from special menu (participating locations only). Proof of service required. More InfoLocations.

El Torito & El Torito, Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary meal. More info.

F

Famous Dave’s, Nov. 11, 2018, and Nov. 12, 2018. Free 2 Meat Combo served with choice of side and cornbread muffin – for veterans and current military members. Bring proof of service. Participating locations only. More info.

Friendly’s, Nov. 11, 2018. Free breakfast, lunch, or dinner to guests with a valid military ID or honorable discharge card. Meal options include the Big-Two-Do® breakfast (choice of two slices of French toast, two buttermilk pancakes or two slices of toast; two strips of crispy bacon or two sausage links and two made-to-order farm fresh eggs), or All American Burger (fries and a beverage) during lunch or dinner. Dine-in only. This offer is limited to one per person at participating locations only.

G

Glory Days, Nov. 11 – 12, 2018. Free appetizer or an order of boneless or grilled boneless wings. Dine-in only and at only at participating locations. More infoLocations.

Gold Star Chili, Nov. 11, 2018. Free 3-Way & Drink for veterans and active duty. More infoLocations.

Green Mill, Nov. 11, 2018. Free menu item for lunch or dinner. Offer includes any single item from our menu. Some limitations. Proof of military service required. Dine-in Only. More info.

Grub Burger Bar, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entree for active, inactive, and retired military personnel. Proof of military service is required. Find your nearest location here.

H

Hamburger Stand, Nov. 11, 2018. Free hamburger, regular fries and a small Pepsi. More info.

Hickory Tavern, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Tavern Burger with Purchase of a Beverage for all current and former military with ID. More info.

Hooters, Nov. 11, 2018. Hooters invites all veterans and current servicemen and women to enjoy a free meal from a select menu. Requires drink purchase. Only valid at participating locations. Locations.

Houlihan’s, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal for active military and veterans with ID at participating locations only. Locations.

J

Joe’s Crab Shack, Nov. 11, 2018. 20% Off on Veterans Day. More info.

L

Little Caesars® Pizza, Nov. 11, 2018. Free pizza or $5 HOT-N-READY Lunch Combo to all US Armed Forces veterans and active military members between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. With proof of military service, at participating stores nationwide. Call ahead to verify participation. More info.

Logan’s Roadhouse, Nov. 11, 2018 (3 pm – 6 pm). Free entrée from the American Roadhouse Meals menu for veterans and active duty military personnel. 10% discount year-round. Call your local Logan’s Roadhouse for details and to verify participation. More info.

LongHorn Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2018. Free appetizer or dessert (no purchase required, no restrictions). Additional 10% off for guests that dine with Veterans on November 11. Offer good for Veterans and active-duty military members. Proof of service required. Find a location near you here.

M

Main Event, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entrée from a select menu and a complimentary FUNcard good for $10 in arcade play. More info.

Max & Erma’s, Nov. 11, 2018. Participating Max & Erma’s locations are offering military members and veterans a free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo, which includes seasoned fries and a fountain drink. Dine-in only. Call ahead to verify participation. ID or proof of service required. Locations.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2018. Veterans will be able to choose a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée from a special menu. Veterans must provide proof of military service. No ID needed for Gold Star Family members (parents or spouse). Be sure to contact your local McCormick & Schmick’s as this is valid at participating restaurants only. Space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. Be sure to review our rundown of this offer, and if you still need more information visit McCormick and Schmick’s Veterans Appreciation Event.

McGrath Fish House, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from special menu. More info.

Menchie’s, Nov. 11, 2018. All veterans and current servicemembers will receive their first 6 oz. frozen yogurt free on Veterans Day. Locations.

N

Native Grill & Wings, Nov. 11, 2018. One free menu item, up to $11.99. More info.

Nékter Juice Bar, Nov. 11, 2018. Free 16 oz Juices and Smoothies to Veterans and Active Duty Military all day long at participating locations. Find a Nékter Juice Bar near you and get their contact info to learn more about their free smoothie offer.

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub, Nov. 11, 2018. From 11am – 4pm. Veterans and active military, free entrée from the 9 Real Size Entrées for $9.99 Menu. More Info.

NYC Bagel Sandwich Shop, Nov. 11, 2018 (6 am – 4 pm). FREE Bagel and Coffee. More info.

O

O’Charley’s, Nov. 11 – 12, 2018. Free $9.99er for veterans and active duty service members on November 11th & 12th at participating locations only. More infoLocations.

Olive Garden, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entrée from a special menu. Entrées are served with unlimited soup or house salad and garlic breadsticks. Offer good for veterans and active duty military; proof of service required. Read our guide to Olive Garden’s Veterans Day special and take a look at their locations.

On The Border, Nov. 11, 2018. Veterans and current servicemembers will receive a free Choose-2 Combo Meal. Each combo is accompanied with sides of Mexican rice and refried beans (black beans upon request), plus endless complimentary tortilla chips and housemade salsa. Dine-in only, proof of service required. More info.

Outback Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Bloomin’ Onion and a non-alcoholic beverage. This offer is available to Military Personnel and veterans with ID. Also available 10% OFF Heroes Discount is open to servicemen and women, police officers, firefighters, and first responders, with corresponding state or federal service ID  through Dec 31, 2018. You can learn more in our post on Outback’s military discount and find an Outback near you with the restaurant’s locator tool, as well as checking out their Operation Homefront initiative.

P

Perry’s Steakhouses, Nov. 11, 2018 (4 pm – 9 pm). Complimentary 3-Course Pork Chop Dinner. Reservations and U.S. Military I.D. required. Each active or former military patron must be accompanied by at least one paying guest (purchasing dinner entrée or Sunday Supper Special). More info.

Primanti Bros, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Sandwich for veterans and active duty military at participating locations. More info.

R

Recovery Sports Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary meal and one Non-Alcoholic Beverage, from Select Menu. Valid for all Active Military and Veterans, dine-in only. More info.

Red Lobster, Nov. 11 – Nov. 12, 2018. Free Appetizer or Dessert with military ID or proof of service. Vets may choose from a select list of appetizers and desserts. More info.

Red Robin, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Red’s Tavern Double and Bottomless Steak Fries for all Red Robin guests with a military ID or proof of service. More info.

Rib Crib, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from Menu of Honor, which includes choice of two meats and two sides, and your choice of a non-alcoholic beverage. More info.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs & Spaghetti entrée for current and former military. More info.

Ruby Tuesday’s, Nov. 11, 2018. Free appetizer (up to $10) at participating locations, proof of service required. More infoLocations.

S

Sagebrush Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2018, 10 am – 11 pm. Free meal from select menu for veterans and current military members. Includes non-alcoholic beverage. Bring proof of military service. More infoLocations.

Sheetz, Nov. 11, 2018. Free lunch at participating locations. Free car wash also available at participating locations, Proof of service required. More infoLocations.

Sizzler Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2018. Free lunch served until 4 pm at participating locations. Veterans can choose between our 6oz Steak, Malibu Chicken or Jumbo Crispy Shrimp. Not valid for salad bar or gratuity. Valid with proof of military service. Dine-in only at participating locations. Locations.

Starbucks, Nov. 11, 2018. Starbucks is treating veterans, active duty service members, and spouses to a free tall (12oz) hot brewed coffee. More info.

T

Tap House Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary meal on Veterans Day, November 11th. For servicemembers and veterans with proof of service. Dine-in only. More infoLocations.

Texas Corral, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from a special menu, plus lemonade, iced tea, or coffee for veterans and current military personnel. Bring proof of military service. More info.

Texas de Brazil, Nov 11-12, 2018. Complimentary meal for two veterans, plus up to 20% off for up to six additional guests during dinner service. *Restrictions apply. More info.

Texas Roadhouse, Nov. 11, 2018. Free Lunch from special menu. Includes sides and a soft drink, coffee, or tea. Proof of service required. Dine-in only. You can access more info and find locations on Texas Roadhouse’s website.

T.G.I. Friday’s, Nov. 11, 2018. Free menu item up to $12 for all current military members and veterans. Valid ID or proof of service required. Dine-in only at participating locations. Be sure to contact your local T.G.I Friday’s for details. More infoLocations.

TooJay’s, Nov. 11, 2018. Free entrée from a special menu on Veteran’s Day. More info.

V

Vitality Bowls, Nov. 11, 2018. Free smoothies for current and former military members at all corporate-owned locations and participating franchises. More info.

W

White Castle, Nov. 11-12, 2018. Free Breakfast Combo or Castle Combo meal #1-6 for veterans and active duty military. Bring proof of military service. More info.

Wienerschnitzel, Nov. 11, 2018. A complimentary Chili Dog, small fries and 20 oz. drink at participating Wienerschnitzel locations, with valid military ID or by wearing a military uniform. Locations.

Wild Wing Café, Nov. 11, 2018. A complimentary meal with proof of service. Veteran may choose from any Awesome Salad, Wild Wrap, Beefy Burger, or Chicken Sandwich. Participating locations only. More info.

WingHouse Bar & Grill, Nov. 11, 2018. Free meal from select menu, at participating locations. More info.

Y

Yard House, Nov. 11, 2018. Complimentary appetizer. More info.

FREE MEALS AFTER VETERANS DAY

Free Veterans Day Meals – Nov. 12, 2018

Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar, Nov. 12, 2018. Current and former military members will receive a free meal from a special menu. Dine-in only. More infoLocations.

Aspen Creek Grill, Nov. 12, 2018. Complimentary Entrée from a special menu. Offer good from 11am – close. More info.

Black Angus Steakhouse, Nov. 12, 2018.  Day All-American Steak Plate for just $9.99. Includes an 8 oz. Certified Angus Beef® Top Sirloin, mashed potatoes, broccoli with garlic butter and a non- alcoholic beverage. Must show proof of military service or military ID to receive offer. More info.

Bombshells Restaurant & Bar, Nov. 12, 2018. Free meals and soft drink, with a 20% discount on meals and soft drinks for accompanying family members. More info.

Burntwood Tavern, Nov. 12, 2018. Free lunch or dinner for all active duty military and veterans. Proof of service or ID required. Available at all locations. More infoLocations.

Calhoun’s Restaurant, Nov. 12, 2018. Free meal, choice of Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que Half Slab of Ribs, Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que Pork Plate, “Ale” Steak, Fresh Chicken Calhoun, and Southern Fried Catfish. Proof of Service required. More infoLocations.

Chicken Salad Chick, Nov. 12, 2018. Free Chick Meal and drink. Includes 1 Scoop or Sandwich, plus one scoop, side, or cup of soup. Locations.

Claim Jumper, Nov. 12, 2018. Free entrée from select menu, with official proof of service. Dine-in only. Participating locations only. Locations.

Denny’s, Nov. 12, 2018. Free Build Your Own Grand Slam® on Nov. 12, from 5 a.m. to noon for all active, inactive, and retired military personnel. Participating locations only. Please call ahead. Locations.

Farmer Boys, Nov. 12, 2018. Free Big Cheese cheeseburgers to veterans and active duty military with valid proof of service. Locations.

Fatz Café, Nov. 12, 2018. Free World Famous Calabash Chicken® meal for current and former military members, 11 am until 11 pm. Proof of service required. Locations.

Firebird’s Grill, Nov. 12, 2018. “Dine with a Veteran or Active Duty Service Member on Monday, November 12 and their lunch or dinner is our treat! Please bring a valid form of military ID or wear your uniform to receive a complimentary entree.”. More info.

GiGi’s Cupcakes, Nov. 12, 2018. FREE cupcake to all veterans and first responders on Monday, November 12th at all participating locations. Store locations.

Golden Corral, Nov. 12, 2018 (5pm – 9pm): The 18th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation dinner is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation dinner, which you can learn all about in our post here.

Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea House, Nov. 12, 2018. Free Soup, Salad, and Desert Bar. Beverage Included. Available for all veterans and active duty military. Dine-in only, valid ID or proof of service required. Valid at participating restaurants only, 11am – 9pm. Hoss’s website provides you with more info and locations.

Hy-Vee, Free Breakfast, Nov. 12, 2018. Free Veterans Day breakfast from 6am – 11am at all participating Hy-Vee supermarkets with in-store dining. You can get all the details here.

IHOP, Nov. 12, 2018. Free Red, White and Blue pancakes from 7 am – 7 pm. Participating locations only. Please call ahead to verify participation. More infoLocations.

Jon Smith Subs, Nov. 12, 2018. Free 6-inch Steak Bomb sub for current and former military with ID. More info.

K&W Cafeteria, Nov. 12, 2018. Free meal, including entrée, 2 vegetables, Bread, and Beverage. More info.

Kings Family Restaurants, Nov. 12, 2018. Free meal for current and former military members, from a select menu. More info.

M Italian Restaurant, Nov. 12, 2018. Free lunch or dinner for all active duty military and veterans. Proof of service or ID required. Available at all locations. More infoLocations.

Rock & Brews, Nov. 12, 2018. Complimentary pulled pork sandwich and a side dish or Strawberry Fields Salad. Available for Veterans, Armed Forces, and First Responders. Proof of military service required. Participating locations; Dine-in Only. More info is available on their website.

Rose Italian Kitchen, Nov. 12, 2018. Free lunch or dinner for all active duty military and veterans. Proof of service or ID required. Available at all locations. More infoLocations.

Shoney’s, Nov. 12, 2018. Free All You Care To Eat, freshly-prepared Breakfast Bar for veterans and active duty servicemembers. Dine-in only, from 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Proof of Service required. More infoLocations.

Taco Mac, Nov. 12, 2018. Free 6-Pack of Wings w/ beverage purchase for Veterans and Active Military. More info.

Twin Peaks, Nov. 12, 2018. Military Monday. Free menu item from a select menu at participating locations. Please call ahead to verify participation. More infoLocations.

Free Veterans Day Meals – Nov. 12, 2018

Country Cookin, Nov. 13, 2018 (2pm – 8pm). Free meal for current and former military. Proof of service required. Please note the date – this is valid the Tuesday after Veterans Day! More infoLocations.

VETERANS DAY DISCOUNTS – RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

Proof of Military Service

Most companies require some form of military ID or proof of military service. These include:

Participation

Second, always call ahead to verify locations, times, and participation. Many of the listed companies are franchises and may have different policies.

We will do our best to keep this page updated as we find new info, but the only way to guarantee you get your Veterans Day meal is by calling ahead and checking with your location.

Tipping

This one may be a no-brainer, but you should tip your server thoughtfully regardless of whether you ate a free meal or not.

In other words, please tip your wait-staff on the full meal price. Show your appreciation for their service. It’s the right thing to do!

 

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Breaking News

Capitol Rioter Screams at Cops Asking Them to Call for Backup to Combat Mob

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Not every Trumper at the U.S. Capitol was down with the siege … or at least so it appears based on this one MAGA cap-wearing man’s convo with Capitol Police in the middle of the riot.

Check out this clip that just surfaced from Jan. 6, when the guy approached a group of Capitol Police officers who were standing off to the side … while the mob stormed into the building.

The man’s words here are telling … he asks why the cops are letting this happen, and why they haven’t called for backup — noting this is the U.S. FREAKIN’ CAPITOL THAT’S BEING INVADED, and that these people storming it are “out for blood.”

Anyway, the officers didn’t seem to respond at all, and the man continued his diatribe … telling them that if no extra help was on the way, it means they don’t care about what’s happening to the Capitol.

A supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump smashes a window using a baseball bat during a “Stop the Steal” protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. U.S. January 6, 2021. Picture taken January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

The whole thing is pretty ironic — a clear Trump supporter right in the thick of the action denouncing the act of breaching the premises. Now, we have no idea what his motives were here, or if he was genuinely separating himself from the illegal activity.

We’ll say this … he does seem to rejoin the mob as the video ends, but we have no way of knowing if he actually went inside the Capitol.

As we first reported, the FBI is investigating a possible Capitol inside job that allowed the siege to take place. And, of course, the Capitol Police Chief resigned too … not to mention multiple suspensions and firings that have taken place since.

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Breaking News

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell says Trump provoked deadly Capitol riot

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  • President Donald Trump and others provoked the swarms of his supporters that stormed the U.S. Capitol, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
  • McConnell’s remarks came as he and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer work to hash out details on Trump’s impending impeachment trial.
  • The remarks also came the day before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as president.
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather at the west entrance of the Capitol during a “Stop the Steal” protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. U.S. January 6, 2021. Picture taken January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

President Donald Trump and others provoked the swarms of his supporters that stormed the U.S. Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.

“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people,” McConnell said on the Senate floor, which two weeks earlier had been evacuated after the crowd of rioters invaded the building.

The remarks from McConnell, R-Ky., came as he and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., worked to hash out details on Trump’s impending impeachment trial. Trump was impeached in the Democrat-led House last week in a 232-197 vote, with 10 Republicans voting in favor of impeachment.

Trump is the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

The GOP leader made the direct link between the Republican president’s rhetoric and the Jan. 6 riot, which left five dead, the day before President-elect Joe Biden was set to be sworn in as the 46th president.

McConnell has rebuffed pressure from Democrats to hold that trial before Trump leaves office, but he has told colleagues that he is undecided on whether Trump should be convicted in the Senate for inciting the riot.

McConnell’s remarks also suggested that other leaders bore responsibility for the attack. A growing chorus of critics have called on some lawmakers, especially GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, to resign after they objected to key states’ electoral results.

McConnell had congratulated Biden on his victory in mid-December, more than a month after the Nov. 3 election.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on McConnell’s latest remarks.

Trump, who exhorted the crowd at a rally outside the White House to “fight like hell” and head to the Capitol to overturn the 2020 election, has insisted that his remarks just before the riot were “totally appropriate.”

In that speech, Trump repeated the incendiary and false claim that he had been robbed of reelection by widespread electoral fraud. He once again vowed that he would never concede to Biden, and he urged his supporters to go to the Capitol to “cheer on” Republican lawmakers who had vowed to object to the results.

“We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong,” Trump also said.

Many of his supporters attending that rally walked directly across the National Mall to the Capitol, where a joint session of Congress had convened to confirm Biden’s Electoral College victory. Rioters broke through barricades and lines of law enforcement officers and entered the Capitol, forcing Congress into hiding. Among them was Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the event.

After McConnell’s remarks, Schumer said on the Senate floor that “Donald Trump should not be eligible to run for office ever again.”

“Healing and unity will only come if there is truth and accountability,” Schumer said.

“There will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate, there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors, and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again,” Schumer said.

Trump, who has acknowledged the coming end to his one term in office without conceding to Biden, has not called his successor, nor has he invited him to the White House before the inauguration.

Pence last week called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to congratulate her and offer his assistance before she is sworn in.

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News & Entertainment

Investigators looking into planning of Capitol riot

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Federal authorities are working to determine the level of planning and coordination among insurgents, including members of law enforcement and the military, that carried out the attack last week on the US Capitol, law enforcement officials said.Among the questions federal prosecutors and investigators are pursuing: Was there a plan to capture and hold hostage members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose name was invoked in angry chants by people who stormed a joint session of Congress to try to stop certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump. People in military-style gear, some carrying zip-tie restraints, were seen in videos and photos participating in the ransacking of the Capitol, raising the question of whether capturing lawmakers — or even Vice President Mike Pence — was the goal, according to a federal law enforcement official.

Two men carrying plastic restraints during Capitol riot charged by fedsActing US Attorney Michael Sherwin told NPR that “hundreds” of people could be facing charges, from destruction of property to murder, for participating in the insurrection. Sherwin said that there would be some challenges because hundreds of suspects were able to leave the scene.”I don’t want this tyranny of labels saying this was sedition, this was a coup,” Sherwin said.Before the Trump rally on Wednesday, federal and local law enforcement agencies shared raw intelligence showing that some people associated with extremist groups, including some with White supremacist ideologies, were expected to flock to Washington at Trump’s urging, according to law enforcement officials briefed on the intelligence. One official said the regional level intelligence reports were broadly shared, including with the US Capitol Police. But the officials said, none of the intelligence reports suggested any plots to attack the Capitol. Much of the information was so-called open-source reporting, based on social media and extremist sites on the Internet, where discussions among planned rally-goers shared some of Trump’s false claims about a stolen election.close dialog

WASHINGTON DC, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES – 2021/01/06: Protesters seen all over Capitol building where pro-Trump supporters riot and breached the Capitol. Rioters broke windows and breached the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election. Police used batons and tear gas grenades to eventually disperse the crowd. Rioters used metal bars and tear gas as well against the police. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“It was a lot of noise, like there always is,” said one federal law enforcement official who reviewed intelligence reports from before the Trump rally.More than 20 arrests on federal charges made since Wednesday have largely focused on some of the relatively easy to identify insurrectionists, many of whom proudly posted on social media or even livestreamed their participation, law enforcement officials said.The harder work now is to try to build potential domestic terrorism cases against people who helped engineer the attack, one federal law enforcement official said.In a news conference Friday, a federal prosecutor in Washington told reporters that investigators in some cases are using initial charges to try to arrest people, while they continue to investigate what other possible charges to bring.That includes looking into possible foreign ties for some suspects; one woman arrested asked for a Russian translator during her court hearing last week.”The goal here is to really to identify people and get them at least what we call placeholder charges initially and then we look deeper into how these individuals came here, how much planning was involved, and any actors domestic or foreign,” said Ken Kohl, the acting principal assistant US Attorney in Washington.Amid that effort is an equally urgent one to prepare for more potential violence from groups that are planning to come to Washington before and during the Biden inauguration.The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies are redoubling efforts to try to identify people who could be planning violence.The fact Wednesday’s mob managed to overwhelm an unprepared Capitol Police force has likely emboldened others who may want to try something similar either in Washington, or in states around the country, officials say. That includes foreign terrorist groups that have always had the US Capitol as a top target.

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