Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the mob that stormed the Capitol Jan. 6 was “fed lies” and “provoked by the president” and others into violence.

McConnell’s words on the Senate floor Tuesday were some of the strongest he’s used to tie President Donald Trump to the attack that disrupted the certification of the Electoral College votes that elected Joe Biden as the next president.

“They tried to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government, which they did not like,” McConnell said of the crowd that marched to the Capitol following a rally where they were addressed by Trump.

The Democratic-controlled House impeached Trump on a single article charging him with incitement of insurrection, following the assault on the Capitol, which left five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, dead and resulted in damage to the building.

McConnell’s remarks underscored the extent to which he has sought to distance himself from Trump, even before the Jan. 6 riot, beginning with his belated acknowledgment of Biden’s win. While blaming Trump for provoking the crowd, the Kentucky Republican continued to leave some uncertainty over how he will handle Trump’s impeachment trial. Last week he told fellow Republicans he had not decided how he would vote on the single article of impeachment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn’t yet said when she will send the impeachment article to the Senate, triggering the start of a trial. It would take 67 votes to convict Trump if all senators vote, including at least 17 Republicans.