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Hawley 'Knows He's Lying,' And That Makes Him Dangerous, McCaskill Says

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File photo | Carolina Hidalgo
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St. Louis Public Radio
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (at left) defeated incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in the Missouri U.S. Senate race in 2018.

Former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill woke up yesterday morning content with the results of Georgia's runoff elections that ensured Democrats will control the U.S. Senate. In the afternoon, she watched in dismay as pro-Trump extremists broke into the Capitol building, where she served Missourians in Congress for 12 years.

“I don't think that I've ever had such an emotional roller coaster of a day,” she recalled on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “What happened yesterday is a direct result of not only the president's lies, but maybe even more importantly, the fact that so many people that know better have gone along with it.”

Among the people McCaskill is referring to is her successor, Sen. Josh Hawley. He was the first senator to sign on to challenge the Electoral College certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. He also expressed his support to protesters earlier Wednesday when he raised a clenched fist in the air in the direction of the crowd.

Hawley’s actions, McCaskill said, further prove his ambition to climb the political ladder instead of best serving his constituents.

“I will maintain this to my dying breath: This is a man whose ambition has overcome a servant's heart. He is way more interested in how he can get elected president than serving the people he was elected to serve,” she said.

Despite condemning the violence, Hawley doubled down on his unfounded claims of a fraudulent election. McCaskill explained that continued election fraud rhetoric only fuels his supporters to act erratically and potentially violently.

“What he represents is dangerous. Lying to people about what the facts are should never be acceptable in elected office. I don't care what party you are,” she said. “And he knows he's lying about what happened. He knows there was no widespread fraud in this election. He knows that Joe Biden won this election. So anybody who engages in that, I believe is dangerous.”

McCaskill concluded that she hopes Democrats and Republicans continue to condemn the violent insurrection.

“This is the country that deserves to be protected, especially its democracy. We have to believe that's possible — time will tell how possible it is,” she said.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Lara is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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