Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 80, gathered his staffers on January 6 to tell them that 45th President Donald Trump is “crazy’ and promise them, “I will never speak to him again,” according to an excerpt of a new book made available by The Washington Post.
The book, “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump”, is a text composed by two establishment media reporters: Politico’s Rachael Bade and the Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian. They claim to reveal how, though McConnell hated Trump, he still couldn’t bring himself to impeach him after January 6.
“Overcome with emotion at the trauma they’d experienced, McConnell had made a vow to his aides,” on the evening of January 6, when legislators returned to the U.S. Capitol to assent to Joe Biden’s victory, the women wrote.
“We’ve all known that Trump is crazy,” McConnell reportedly told his aids. “I’m done with him. I will never speak to him again.”
The first excerpt from UNCHECKED, by @rachaelmbade & me, is out in the @washingtonpost! It’s a deep dive into how McConnell almost voted to convict Trump — and ultimately failed to follow his conscience. Read here: https://t.co/6Eo7rsC4Fm
— Karoun Demirjian (@karoun) September 21, 2022
The women seem to suggest that while McConnell cut off all contact with Trump – and ostensibly encouraged other Republicans to do the same, as it notes that McConnell’s own wife left the Trump administration after the event – the then-79-year-old man struggled to be a “leader” when it came to impeaching the 45th President.
McConnell’s decision not to convict Trump is perhaps best revealed by a friendly conversation he shared between Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who later lost her primary campaign to a Trump-endorsed Republican challenger.
“We don’t disagree on the substance; we just disagree on the tactics,” the book reveals McConnell told Cheney, “as they conferred about how to free the GOP from Trump’s iron grip.”
“Let’s just ignore him,” was apparently McConnell’s advice to Cheney.
Assuming the book is accurate, the exchange reveals one thing above all others: Mitch McConnell is a better politician than Liz Cheney.
While Cheney has been excised from electoral politics, at least for the moment, and may well be on her way to being excised from the Republican Party as a whole, McConnell remains the leader of the Republicans in the Senate.
He remains in control of the powerful Senate Leadership Fund, which recently pulled its support from Trump-endorsed candidate Blake Masters in Arizona. Masters aims to unseat Sen. Mark Kelly, who has only served for two years and has voted with Joe Biden almost 100% of his short time in office.
Cheney may be flirting with a 2024 presidential run, but even she must know it would be a failure at worst and a temporary source of employment at best.
In any case, Trump has no reason to worry about Cheney. While he’s publicly predicted Cheney will fade into “political oblivion,” polls show that if she were to run as an independent in 2024, Trump would win in a landslide as she siphoned more votes from Biden and the Democrats than Trump and the Republicans.
But Mitch McConnell, if he’s lucky, may soon once again benefit from Trump’s popularity despite his personal animosity for the man and be promoted back to Senate Majority Leader before he retires from politics.
That’s assuming his fellow Senate Republicans still want him for the job.