CNN's Jim Acosta Dubs Donald Trump the 'Mussolini of Mar-a-Lago'

CNN's Jim Acosta dubbed Donald Trump "the Mussolini of Mar-a-Lago" as he criticized congressional Republicans who voted against the bipartisan commission into the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, saying they were acquiescing to the former president's demands.

"Hopes for a bipartisan commission to investigate what happened on January 6th are fading fast," Acosta said on CNN Newsroom Saturday. "Almost as fast as some Republican leaders are sprinting from a key question, whether GOP lawmakers were in communication with the insurrectionists. See how they run."

Acosta then played a clip of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy abruptly ending a news conference after a reporter asked if he was sure that no GOP House members were in communication with Capitol rioters.

Acosta: You remember the Mussolini of Mar-a-Lago writing in his blog... pic.twitter.com/2b5lXYpHZv

— Acyn (@Acyn) May 22, 2021

Acosta went on to note that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "initially sounded open to a commission" but later "showed off his cat-like reflexes, side-stepping the idea."

He played a clip of McConnell saying he had decided to oppose the House Democrats' "slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of January 6th."

"You didn't know he could move so fast, did you? Like a ninja," Acosta said. But he added that it wasn't surprising as it was McConnell who "talked a good game around Trump's second impeachment trial" but then voted to acquit the former president.

Donald Trump in New York
Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on May 18, 2021 in New York City. James Devaney/GC Images

He played a clip from McConnell's speech on the Senate floor after the vote in February, where he said Trump's supporters had "tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House" and "built the gallows and chanted about murdering the Vice President."

"They did this because they'd been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on earth because he was angry he lost the election," McConnell added.

McConnell's decision then to acquit Trump was "not exactly a profile in courage, more like cowardice and calculation," Acosta said.

"That's because Republican leaders have made the decision to put next year's mid-term election ahead of the good of the country and that Trump is the key to winning back control of Congress."

Acosta continued: "You remember the Mussolini of Mar-a-Lago writing in his blog, which has become his online diary, you could say. Trump demanded that Republican leaders shut down this commission... like he pressed his button for another Diet Coke."

Earlier this week, Trump issued a statement via the blog on his personal website, "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump," urging Republicans to vote against the commission. "Hopefully, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are listening!" Trump added.

The House did vote to create an independent commission with some bipartisan support on Wednesday, with Acosta noting that 35 Republicans were "brave enough to stand up to Trump and his lies."

But Acosta added that "too many Republicans are still busy rewriting the history of what happened that day."

He added that 175 GOP members "chose party over country or in one case, party over family."

He was referring to Indiana Rep. Greg Pence—the brother of former Vice President Mike Pence—who opposed the commission, despite video clips showing rioters had chanted "Hang Mike Pence!" during the Capitol insurrection.

"His brother could have been killed and yet Greg Pence said in a statement, and let's put this up on screen, this is unbelievable... 'Hanging judge Nancy Pelosi is hellbent on pushing her version of partisan justice—complete with a hand-picked jury that will carry out her predetermined political execution of Donald Trump.'"

"Hanging Judge Nancy Pelosi?" Acosta said. "Interesting choice of words when it was a pro-Trump mob that built a gallows outside the Capitol on January 6th."