Inside McConnell and Murkowski’s battle over Trump’s impeachment

Tensions flared between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and swing Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) during then-President Trump’s first impeachment trial in the Winter of 2020, according to an exclusively obtained excerpt from a new book.

New revelations about what McConnell did behind the scenes to help Trump during his first impeachment trial shows the minority leader was one of Trump’s most effective Senate allies before their dramatic falling out after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.  

They also show that while McConnell is now supporting Murkowski's re-election bid against a Trump-backed challenger, Kelly Tshibaka, just two years ago the two senators were at loggerheads over how to respond to questions about Trump's conduct and fitness for office.

The forthcoming book, “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump,” reveals that McConnell leaned hard on Murkowski to vote against calling more witnesses at Trump’s impeachment trial on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.  

Murkowski at the time said publicly she “was disturbed” by McConnell’s pledge to work in “total coordination” with Trump’s legal team and “take my cues from the president’s lawyers.” 

Murkowski saw senators more as members of an impartial jury, not an extension of the defense team, and told a reporter in Alaska shortly before Christmas 2019 that McConnell had “further confused the process.”  

Murkowski’s criticism of McConnell started trending on Twitter. When she woke up the next morning after a late night of wrapping Christmas presents at her cabin outside of Anchorage, she found a “snarky” message from McConnell in her email inbox. 

It was “a missive that would zap all the holiday cheer out of her for two days. The leader was not happy with her comments. And he wanted to talk to her,” longtime Washington reporters Rachael Bade and Karoun Demirjian write in “Unchecked,” which will go on sale Oct. 18.  

McConnell later tried to mend fences with Murkowski, whom he knew would be a key Republican vote. If she defected, the charges against Trump would have posed a huge political liability for the president and his party heading into the 2020 election.  

After returning to Washington after the recess, McConnell summoned Murkowski to walk over to him on the Senate floor and told her: “You and I are on the same page.” 

He signaled he didn’t have lingering hard feelings by recalling how in the same interview in which Murkowski criticized him, she also criticized Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for rushing the impeachment investigation.  

And he tried to defend his statement that he would coordinate closely with the White House legal team by arguing that Democrats had done the same thing during Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial. 

But it still was a sore subject for Murkowski.  

“Well don’t advertise it!” she had snapped back. 

Bade, the co-author of Politico Playbook, and Demirjian, a member of The Washington Post’s national security team, write that Murkowski also struggled with herself over how to handle the trial, and how to vote on the crucial question of allowing House Democratic prosecutors to call additional witnesses, which would have extended the trial for weeks or even months.

McConnell worked behind the scenes to persuade her not to defect and vote with Democrats.  

He knew he couldn’t bully her so he had to use the tactic he had deployed so effectively over his years as leader to convince wayward Republican colleagues to toe the party line.  

“McConnell never threatened. He never bullied. And though he often left her space to follow her own intuition, he was an expert at laying the guilt on thick and backing her into a corner,” the authors write.  

Murkowski was a critical player in the 2020 impeachment trial because she turned out to be the deciding swing vote on the question of calling more witnesses.

Unlike the vote on convicting the president and removing him from office, which requires two-thirds of the Senate — which was never a real possibility in January of 2020 — the procedural vote on calling more witnesses only needed a simple majority.  

Republicans controlled 53 seats, but moderate Sens. Susan Collins (R), who was up for re-election in Maine, a Democratic-leaning state, and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), an outspoken Trump critic, were expected to vote for additional witnesses. If Murkowski joined them, there would be a 50-50 tie on the question and it would have fallen to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to decide or punt on the crucial question.  

McConnell knew that Murkowski respected Roberts, who was presiding over the Senate trial, and exploited that to his full advantage. He warned that if she voted with Democrats to call witnesses, Roberts would be thrown into a political maelstrom along with other judges who would be forced to rule on Trump’s legal appeals. 

“The most consequential vote during this impeachment is not about whether to convict or acquit,” McConnell told Murkowski carefully, according to the book. “It’s about how to vote on witnesses—and what position that will put the courts in.” 

He told Murkowski that it would be up to her to protect the integrity of the judicial branch and stop what he viewed as a politically motivated impeachment trial from damaging the federal judiciary’s reputation as standing above politics.  

“If you don’t want to do this for the presidency, if you don’t want to do it for the Senate, if you don’t want to do this for 2020 colleagues, do it to save the courts,” he said.  

This and other anecdotes in “Unchecked” are gathered from interviews the authors conducted with the key players in Trump’s impeachment trial. The sources were granted anonymity to protect them from political and personal recriminations.  

Though Murkowski was torn over the question of witnesses, she felt sure that Trump had acted improperly by using his power as president to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on then-former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter on a July phone call.

Yet the Alaska senator thought House Democrats had rushed the impeachment investigation and had dumped an incomplete case in senators’ laps, asking them to finish their work by taking on the burden of fact finding.  

Murkowski wondered why the House had not handled the case with more care and concern. She thought that Democrats were just as guilty of playing politics as her Senate Republican colleagues who reflexively circled around Trump to defend him, even though his conduct raised serious ethical and legal questions.  

“Republican leaders, much to her frustration, were constantly telling their rank and file: ‘You gotta circle. You gotta circle together and protect one another here’ — which meant, of course, circling to protect Trump. Just like musk ox, Murkowski thought,” imagining the hulking creatures, who circle around their young with their horns turned out and their rears tucked in during times of danger, according to “Unchecked.” 

She ultimately decided the House impeachment investigation and Senate trial were flawed, but she felt there wasn’t anything she could do to rectify the situation or alter the outcome that Trump would be acquitted on the final vote.  

She and then-Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the other Republican swing vote, ultimately decided they would not support calling new witnesses, putting the trial on the path for a speedy conclusion and giving McConnell the political win he wanted.  

As Murkowski deliberated over what to do, she concluded: “Republicans were too afraid to actually check this president, and Democrats didn’t really care about putting him away—just about getting impeachment over with and using it to do maximum damage to the GOP in the 2020 election.”

“Because of that, she thought sourly, Trump would get away with everything. And she had no choice but to be complicit,” the authors write.

Trump Escalates Attacks on Mitch McConnell, Says He Has a ‘Death Wish’ by Supporting Democrat Bills

Former President Donald Trump raised the temperature of his verbal attacks on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claiming the latter’s support of “Democrat-sponsored bills” indicates he has a “death wish.”

Trump declined to point to a specific piece of legislation in a post on his Truth Social media platform, though the timing of the comments comes as McConnell has voiced support for the Electoral Count Act.

The legislation is a direct response to the January 6 riot at the Capitol and Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results in 2020.

“Is McConnell approving all of these Trillions of Dollars worth of Democrat-sponsored Bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J. Trump, and he knows I am strongly opposed to them?” Trump asked.

“Or is he doing it because he believes in the Fake and Highly Destructive Green New Deal, and is willing to take the Country down with him?

“In any event, either reason is unacceptable,” concluded Trump. “He has a DEATH WISH. Must immediately seek help and advice from his China-loving wife, Coco Chow!”

RELATED: Trump Calls For The Immediate Removal Of Mitch McConnell From GOP Leadership

Who is the Real Danger?

Naturally, the media ran with the “death wish” rhetoric and indicated it was a call to violence against Mitch McConnell.

The hypocrisy is rich, considering that the same media was celebrating the continued harassment of McConnell and his wife when Democrats were actively courting violence against their political opponents when Trump was in office, such as the time Congresswoman Maxine Waters openly encouraged supporters to harass Republicans in public as often and intensely as possible, to name one example.

You may recall that liberal activists left body bags outside the GOP leader’s home in 2020 and he and his wife were accosted by activists in 2018.

 

Now, outlets like the Wall Street Journal are concerned that Trump’s “reckless” rhetoric “courts potential violence.”

I would argue that Trump is not being literal with his comments but rather, speaking about a figurative career and political ‘death wish.’

Trump has consistently been calling on McConnell to be removed from his leadership role “immediately,” saying he is little more than “a pawn for the Democrats.”

 

RELATED: Report: Mitch McConnell Said He’s ‘Done’ With ‘Crazy’ Trump Over Capitol Riot

McConnell Celebrated Trump’s Political Suicide

Trump and McConnell have been feuding for what seems like forever, well before the “death wish” post.

Just last month, as reported by The Political Insider, Trump took to social media to blast McConnell as a “broken down hack politician” and even made remarks about his “crazy wife.”

Earlier in September, Trump described Mitch as an “absolute loser” who has been giving Democrats “everything they want.”

Trump has pressed the GOP to oust McConnell, whom he describes as a “Broken Old Crow,” from leadership.

 

Reports have surfaced of late indicating McConnell was considering a vote to convict Donald Trump in the impeachment trial over his alleged role in the Capitol riot and said he was “done with” the “crazy” former President over the incident.

To that end, the Kentucky Republican also expressed his excitement that Trump had a political ‘death wish’ of his own.

A recently published book alleges Mitch McConnell admitted he was “exhilarated” that Trump had “totally discredited himself” over the Capitol riot.

He also took joy that Trump seemingly had ‘committed political suicide’ at the time.

 

“I feel exhilarated by the fact that this fellow finally, totally discredited himself,” McConnell reportedly said. “He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Couldn’t have happened at a better time.”

I don’t recall the Wall Street Journal or the media at large going apoplectic over McConnell’s remarks.

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”

The post Trump Escalates Attacks on Mitch McConnell, Says He Has a ‘Death Wish’ by Supporting Democrat Bills appeared first on The Political Insider.

Report: Mitch McConnell Said He’s ‘Done’ With ‘Crazy’ Trump Over Capitol Riot

Senator Mitch McConnell was considering a vote to convict Donald Trump in the impeachment trial over his alleged role in the Capitol riot and said he was “done with” the “crazy” former President over the incident.

The revelations surfaced in excerpts published from the upcoming book, Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump, written by Politico’s Rachael Bade and the Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian.

Explaining that the vote to convict Trump would represent “one of the most pivotal votes of his career,” the authors indicated McConnell (R-KY) was all but certain the GOP would purge themselves of the then-President.

“But while McConnell was ready to be done with Trump, his party, it seemed, was not,” they wrote.

RELATED: Trump Slams ‘Broken Down Hack’ Mitch McConnell And His ‘Crazy Wife’

Mitch McConnell Said He’s ‘Done With’ Trump

The book excerpts provided by the Washington Post quickly put Mitch McConnell in AOC or Adam Kinzinger territory with his melodramatic reaction to the events of January 6.

They describe him as “stunned” at what “marauders” had done at the Capitol and illustrate a man “overcome with emotion at the trauma [his aides] experienced.”

The result was this promise: “We’ve all known that Trump is crazy,” McConnell told them. “I’m done with him. I will never speak to him again.”

And while the Senate Republican leader may have been prepared to move on, it became clear that the GOP didn’t have the votes to convict Trump, despite efforts by Liz Cheney (R-WY) to convince him to take action in short order, circumventing due process.

“She pressed him in a series of phone calls to bring the Senate back from a congressional recess before the Biden inauguration and quickly convict Trump before he left office,” the authors reveal.

“Republicans would follow his lead, she insisted to McConnell. And besides, Trump still posed an ongoing threat to the country.”

On that last point, according to the book, McConnell “did not disagree” though he knew the logistics would make a quick conviction impossible.

“We don’t disagree on the substance; we just disagree on the tactics,” he allegedly told Cheney. “Let’s just ignore him.”

RELATED: Report: Mitch McConnell Wants A Truce With Donald Trump

Trump Says McConnell is a Broken Down Hack

The latest book on the events surrounding the Capitol riot square with another previously published effort alleging Mitch McConnell admitted he was “exhilarated” that Trump had “totally discredited himself” over the entire ordeal.

He also took joy that Trump seemingly had ‘committed political suicide.’

“I feel exhilarated by the fact that this fellow finally, totally discredited himself,” McConnell said. “He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Couldn’t have happened at a better time.”

McConnell, it seems according to a New York Times column from the authors of that particular book, thought the “The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us.”

Trump has repeatedly taken shots at Mitch McConnell ever since the Senate Minority leader vowed to be “done with” him.

POLL: Should Mitch McConnell be kicked out of GOP leadership?

By voting, you agree to receive email communication from The Political Insider. Click HERE for more information.

Just a few short weeks ago, as reported by The Political Insider, Trump took to social media to blast McConnell as a “broken down hack politician” and even made remarks about his “crazy wife.”

Last week, Trump described Mitch as an “absolute loser” who has been giving Democrats “everything they want.”

On Thursday he shared a column analyzing a new Civiqs poll indicating just 7% view McConnell favorably.

Trump has pressed the GOP to oust McConnell, whom he describes as a “Broken Old Crow,” from leadership.

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”

The post Report: Mitch McConnell Said He’s ‘Done’ With ‘Crazy’ Trump Over Capitol Riot appeared first on The Political Insider.

McConnell came closer than first reported to voting to convict Trump: book

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) came closer than previously reported to voting to convict former President Trump in the impeachment trial that followed the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, according to a new book set to be released next month. 

The Washington Post released an excerpt from “UNCHECKED: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump,” by the Post’s Karoun Demirjian and Politico’s Rachel Bade, that discusses how McConnell wrestled with whether to vote to convict Trump for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

McConnell was pleased to see the wide range of Republicans who had turned against Trump following the riot and called on him to resign. But he was “stunned” by the speed at which the GOP turned back to support Trump, with only 10 House Republicans voting in favor of impeachment, the excerpt states. 

McConnell knew many Senate Republicans would look to him for guidance on how to vote on a motion from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) about whether the conviction of a president who was no longer in office was constitutionally permitted. 

The House voted to impeach Trump a week before the end of his term, but the Senate trial would not begin until after he left office. 

The authors based the information in the excerpt on interviews with people familiar with McConnell’s thinking and deliberations. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity to “speak candidly.” 

McConnell was drawn to voting to convict Trump, an outcome that would have potentially barred him from running for office again.

“We’ve all known that Trump is crazy,” he reportedly told aides following the insurrection. “I’m done with him. I will never speak to him again.” 

But McConnell did not know if he was up to leading a “rebellion” against Trump, according to the authors. 

He was not convinced by an argument from conservative attorney J. Michael Luttig that the Senate was constitutionally unable to hold a trial for a former president. But other members of the Senate Republican Conference thought differently.

McConnell discussed the argument with fellow GOP senators who were skeptical.

His legal adviser from Trump’s first impeachment trial, Andrew Ferguson, advised him that some constitutional scholars do not believe that the Constitution allows an impeached president to be barred from future office. However, these scholars are in the minority.

Ferguson told McConnell that Trump could use that view to run again in 2024 and sue states that keep him off the ballot, turning it into a legal battle that could lead to a political comeback. 

The authors reported that McConnell also feared turning Trump into a martyr if he was convicted.

The Senate Republican leader sent a letter to his fellow GOP senators the day after Luttig made his argument that he was open to voting to convict and firmly blamed Trump for causing the riot, according to the excerpt. 

McConnell ultimately voted to acquit the former president.

Florida Senator Rick Scott Tells Mitch McConnell To Stop Trash-Talking Candidates

As the midterm election battle heats up, establishment Republicans seem to have a problem, and it’s not former President Donald Trump. At least not totally.

It is other Republicans who do not have a problem standing up to them (many of those being tied to Donald Trump.)

The latest example is Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). Scott is also the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate campaign arm of the GOP.

Scott is not pleased with some comments made last month by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

RELATED: MAGA Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Calls For Biden’s Impeachment Following ‘President Butterbeans’ Divisive Speech

Demeaning Candidates

Mitch McConnell was at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Luncheon when he was asked about the possibility of Republicans taking over control of the Senate in November.

McConnell stated that there was a better chance of the House being taken over by the GOP than the Senate. But it was this knock on the candidates chosen by Republican voters that have drawn some ire: “Senate races are just different, they’re statewide. Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”

In response, Scott stated that he and McConnell have “a strategic disagreement” about that.

During an interview with Politico, Scott said:

“We have great candidates. He wants to do the same thing I want to do: I want to get a majority. And I think it’s important that we’re all cheerleaders for our candidates. If you trash talk our candidates … you hurt our chances of winning, and you hurt our candidates’ ability to raise money. I know they’re good candidates, because I’ve been talking to them and they’re working their butts off.”

Scott added that negative talk about GOP candidates was “not productive.”

RELATED: Trump Vows Pardons, Government Apology For January 6 Defendants

Trump Also Responds

At the time of McConnell’s comments, Donald Trump also had some thoughts on the leader of the Senate Republicans bad mouthing candidates, many of whom just happened to be endorsed by Trump.

It’s the latest episode in an ongoing feud of sorts between Trump and McConnell. Their back and forth tends to illustrate the growing pains going on within the party. Old Guard establishment types who have been in Washington D.C. forever and don’t want to confront Democrats on anything, versus a new generation of no-nonsense Republicans who have no problem taking on the Democrats and winning.

Trump stated, “Why do Republicans Senators allow a broken down hack politician, Mitch McConnell, to openly disparage hard-working Republican candidates for the United States Senate? This is such an affront to honor and to leadership.”

Earlier the same week, Trump had called for the GOP to immediately oust McConnell. He called McConnell “a pawn for the Democrats.” The second statement on Truth Social was in response to a story by the The Federalist, which claimed that McConnell and his wife, former Trump Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, had “spent decades getting rich on China.”

Trump also said of the McConnells, “The Democrats have Mitch McConnell and his lovely wife, Elaine ‘Coco’ Chao, over a barrel. He and she will never be prosecuted, as per the last paragraphs of this story, as long as he continues to give the Radical Left the Trillions and Trillions of Dollars that they constantly DEMAND.”

RELATED: Federal Testing Shows Shuttering Schools Failed American Students

Maybe Mitch Could Start Helping

Mitch McConnell has made it clear that not only does he not like Donald Trump, but he doesn’t like Trump-endorsed candidates as well. The former is fine. The second is not, for a person in his position.

McConnell is going to have to answer whether he really wants to win in November and retake the Senate, or continue to be a puppet for Chuck Schumer and the Democrats and go along to get along.

While there is still a way to go, GOP candidates in key Senate races could use the boost. According to Real Clear Politics average polls, in Arizona, Democrat Senator Mark Kelly is up by six points to GOP challenger Blake Masters. 

In Georgia, the race is tightening, with Sen. Raphael Warnock up by just one point over Herschel Walker. In Ohio, J.D. Vance is up by 3.7 points over Sen. Tim Ryan. In the all-important Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, far-left Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is up by 6.5 points over Dr. Mehmet Oz, and in Wisconsin, Democrat Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is up over Sen. Ron Johnson by 4.3 points.

Maybe Mitch McConnell could stop playing mean girls with Donald Trump long enough to help some Republicans win.

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”

The post Florida Senator Rick Scott Tells Mitch McConnell To Stop Trash-Talking Candidates appeared first on The Political Insider.

Report: Mitch McConnell Was ‘Exhilarated’ That Trump ‘Committed Political Suicide’ On January 6

Mitch McConnell reportedly said he was “exhilarated” that Donald Trump had “totally discredited himself” just hours after the Capitol riot on January 6th.

This, according to excerpts from a new book titled, “This Will Not Pass,” obtained by the Washington Post.

“I feel exhilarated by the fact that this fellow finally, totally discredited himself,” the anti-Trump Republican Minority Leader McConnell told New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin, one of the book’s authors.

“He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger,” the Senate Minority Leader allegedly said at the time. “Couldn’t have happened at a better time.”

RELATED: Report: Mitch McConnell Wants A Truce With Donald Trump

Mitch McConnell ‘Exhilarated’ After Capitol Riot

Mitch McConnell’s reaction to the Capitol riot seems counter to everything we’ve been told about how serious the attack was.

How could somebody be ‘exhilarated’ on the worst day in American history since the Civil War? On the day AOC was literally almost murdered? A day that moved the ever-stoic Adam Kinzinger to tears?

McConnell was celebrating the political fallout? That’s simply reprehensible and something you’d expect from the Democrat Party.

Speaking of Democrats who never let a crisis go to waste …

McConnell, according to the same Washington Post report, was considering a joint statement with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) warning the former President to stay away from Joe Biden’s inauguration.

It gets worse.

McConnell reportedly was “eager” to obtain information from Martin on the prospect of Cabinet members and then-Vice President Mike Pence invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

“What do you hear about the Twenty-Fifth Amendment?” he asked.

RELATED: Mitch McConnell At Odds With Trump: Opposes Pardons For January 6 Rioters

McConnell Wanted to Rid GOP of Trump

The Political Insider wrote one week after the January 6 riot that Mitch McConnell had been “pleased” about Democrats drafting articles of impeachment.

Multiple sources had observed McConnell claiming he was “done” and “furious” with Trump.

The Kentucky Republican “told associates that impeachment will help rid the Republican Party of Trump and his movement.”

Trump’s “movement” being a record number of voters for a Republican president.

McConnell, along with a majority of Republicans, later voted that the impeachment trial of Donald Trump was unconstitutional.

Trump ravaged the GOP leader about a month afterward, issuing a statement saying McConnell is “a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack.”

By the end of February, McConnell said he would “absolutely” support Trump if he were the Republican nominee for president in 2024.

Despite that ‘absolute’ support, McConnell and Trump have continued to be at odds over the severity of what happened during the Capitol riot.

Trump has indicated he would consider pardons for January 6 rioters should he run for and win the presidential election in 2024.

“If I run, and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly,” he vowed. “If that requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly.”

The Senate Minority Leader vociferously objected to that plan.

“My view is, I would not be in favor of shortening any of the sentences for any of the people who pleaded guilty to crimes,” McConnell said.

The Washington Post goes on to note that McConnell had been gearing up for a fight with Trump and his supporters following the Capitol riot.

They claim he told staff members that the former President is a “despicable person” and that he would “take him on politically.”

POLL: Should the GOP be more like Trump or McConnell?

By voting, you agree to receive email communication from The Political Insider. Click HERE for more information.

“We crushed the sons of b****es,” McConnell said of conservative candidates in the 2014 midterms. “And that’s what we’re going to do in the primary in ’22.”

Trump slammed McConnell in a statement saying he no longer represents the Republican Party.

“Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters,” he wrote.

The post Report: Mitch McConnell Was ‘Exhilarated’ That Trump ‘Committed Political Suicide’ On January 6 appeared first on The Political Insider.

Mitch McConnell At Odds With Trump: Opposes Pardons For January 6 Rioters

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes Donald Trump’s pledge to possibly pardon some individuals who have been arrested for the January 6 riot at the Capitol, saying he’s not in favor of shortening any sentences for those who pled guilty.

McConnell (R-KY) made the comments after being prompted by a reporter who inquired about Trump’s statement.

“One hundred and sixty-five people have pleaded guilty to criminal behavior,” he said. “None of the trials have been finished yet, but 165 have pleaded guilty to criminal behavior.”

“My view is, I would not be in favor of shortening any of the sentences for any of the people who pleaded guilty to crimes,” added McConnell.

RELATED: Trump Hints That He Would Pardon January 6 Rioters If He Wins In 2024

McConnell Objects

Former President Donald Trump said that he would consider pardons for January 6 rioters should he run for and win the presidential election in 2024.

“If I run, and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly,” he vowed. “If that requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, like McConnell, almost immediately objected to the idea of issuing pardons for the Capitol rioters.

“No, I don’t want to send any signal that it was OK to defile the Capitol,” Graham said. “I think it’s inappropriate … I don’t want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future.”

RELATED: Report: George W. Bush Donating To Republicans Who Voted To Impeach Trump

Peaceful Transition Of Power

McConnell also stated that those involved in the January 6 riot should not be pardoned because they interfered in the election process.

The 2020 election was “decided on December 14 of 2020 when the Electoral College certified the winner of the election,” he said.

McConnell added that the Capitol rioters had engaged in “an effort to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another” something that had “never happened before in our country.”

McConnell, following the Capitol riot, joined Democrats in calls for impeachment according to a Fox News report at the time, telling associates that the move “will help rid the Republican Party of Trump and his movement.”

POLL: Do you side with Trump or McConnell on pardons?

By voting, you agree to receive email communication from The Political Insider. Click HERE for more information.

Trump ravaged the GOP leader in response, issuing a statement saying McConnell is “a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack.”

In July, Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and ten House Republicans sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding to know why protesters at the Capitol had been arrested and jailed while many BLM protesters were not for their role in the race riots across America.

The letter asked Garland to explain an “inconsistent application of the law with respect to rioters across the country.”

The post Mitch McConnell At Odds With Trump: Opposes Pardons For January 6 Rioters appeared first on The Political Insider.

Trump Threatens Primary Challenges For Senate Republicans Who ‘Caved’ On Democrats’ Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Bill

Former President Donald Trump blasted Senate Republicans on Thursday for “caving” to Democrats’ trillion dollar infrastructure bill.

In his classic fashion, Trump accused RINO’s (Republicans In Name Only), and specifically Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of giving in to Democrat demands.

Before the vote, Trump warned that McConnell was ready to fold: “Under the weak leadership of Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans continue to lose. He lost Arizona, he lost Georgia, he ignored Election Fraud and he doesn’t fight.” 

“Now he’s giving Democrats everything they want and getting nothing in return. No deal is better than a bad deal. Fight for America, not for special interests and Radical Democrats. RINOs are ruining America, right alongside Communist Democrats.”  

RELATED: DeSantis Says No To COVID Lockdowns: We Should Not Be Forced To Live In A ‘Faucian Dystopia’

17 Republicans Join Democrats

The former President’s slamming of Senate Republicans came after 17 Republicans voted with Democrats to move ahead with a mammoth $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan. The final vote was 67-32. 

Trump had also warned ahead of the vote that primary challenges were to come: “Don’t do it Republicans — Patriots will never forget! If this deal happens, lots of primaries will be coming your way.”

Trump has already endorsed the primary challenger for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who is up for re-election in 2022.

RELATED: Biden Thanks Fox News Commentators For Telling People To Get Vaccinated

Karma Could Be In The Air For GOP Senators

But Trump could be right, patriots in the form of American voters may indeed have long memories.

Back in February, seven Republican Senators voted with every Democrat to convict Donald Trump on charges of impeachment stemming from the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol building. At the time, nearly every one of those Senators had been censured or were facing censure by voters back home.

Seventeen Republican senators voted for the Biden infrastructure plan. Of the seven who voted to convict back in February, only Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania voted no on infrastructure.

Every other Senator who voted to convict Trump, also voted for the infrastructure plan. See a pattern?

Of those who voted for infrastructure, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Rob Portman of Ohio are retiring, and the good people of Alaska will issue a referendum on Murkowski. 

RELATED: Texas Governor Greg Abbott: Local Officials Who Enforce Mask Mandates Will Be Fined

 

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #16 on Feedspot’s “Top 70 Conservative Political Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021.”

The post Trump Threatens Primary Challenges For Senate Republicans Who ‘Caved’ On Democrats’ Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Bill appeared first on The Political Insider.

Trump Lawyer Jenna Ellis Quits The Republican Party During Live Broadcast

Jenna Ellis, the former attorney for President Trump, quit the Republican Party during a live broadcast on the conservative news platform, “Real America’s Voice.”

Ellis said she is making the move because, in her mind, it’s clear the GOP does not – and did not – support the former President enough.

“Sure, the Republicans claim to be keeping Democrats in check, but only a handful of outsiders are actually speaking up,” she claimed. “The rest are compromising on everything.”

“The infrastructure bill, for example,” Ellis continued. “Or the second impeachment hoax, where [Senate GOP Leader Mitch] McConnell actually stood up and ranted against President Trump for his own political gain, not for the truth.”

The former Trump attorney’s announcement seems to have been spurred on by a recent spat with the Republican National Committee (RNC).

RELATED: Trump Lawyer Jenna Ellis Demands RNC Chair Resign – Claims They Abandoned Trump Then Lied About It

Jenna Ellis Quits The GOP

Late this past weekend, Jenna Ellis accused the RNC of lying about a story claiming the group’s chief counsel questioned electoral fraud claims.

The in-fighting exploded following a report regarding a new book by Michael Wolff which, in one excerpt, claimed Ellis received a forwarded note from RNC chief counsel Justin Riemer.

In emails obtained by The Hill, Riemer questioned colleagues who were backing Trump’s claims of election fraud during the 2020 election.

“What Rudy [Giuliani] and Jenna are doing is a joke and they are getting laughed out of court,” Riemer reportedly wrote in emails obtained by the Washington Post.

“They are misleading millions of people who have wishful thinking that the president is going to somehow win this thing,” he continued.

Ellis allegedly showed the message to the two people she was having dinner with at the time, one of whom was another attorney for the former President, Rudy Giuliani.

The book claims Giuliani was so incensed by the message that he called Riemer and delivered a profanity-laced demand to resign.

“Who the f*** do you you think you are? How can you be going against the president?” the book claims Giuliani said. “You need to resign and resign tonight … because you are going to get fired.”

Giuliani then purportedly called McDaniel to ensure he had been fired.

The RNC issued a statement insisting the story “is simply false.”

Ellis, however, said it was true and that she had the receipts to back it up. She demanded McDaniel resign.

RELATED: Trump Easily Wins CPAC Straw Poll – Warns Biden Bringing America ‘To the Brink of Ruin’ In Fiery Speech

Ellis Calls Out The RNC

The RNC, well after the incident in question took place in November, continued to raise money off Trump’s claims of election fraud.

Jenna Ellis, in her on-air speech in which she quit the Republican Party, addressed the perceived hypocrisy.

“What happened to the millions raised by the RNC in November and December of 2020?” she asked. “The Trump team never saw a dime of that help.”

“All of them, including Ronna McDaniel, should resign now,” she continued before announcing her departure.

POLL: Is Jenna Ellis right about the Republican Party?

By voting, you agree to receive email communication from The Political Insider. Click HERE for more information.

“Until they do, as of today, I am resigning from the party,” she declared. “A compromised, corrupted majority is not a majority worth being a part of.”

Riemer, who is still with the RNC despite Giuliani’s attempts to get him fired, insists that the committee did everything they could to support Trump without dabbling in election fraud conspiracies.

“Any suggestion that I did not support President Trump or do everything in my power to support the RNC’s efforts to reelect President Trump is false,” Riemer said in a statement to the Washington Post.

“I will say publicly now what I then said privately: I take issue with individuals who brought lawsuits that did not serve President Trump well and did not give him the best chance in court,” he added.

Regardless of Riemer’s assertion, which might very well be accurate, it’s clear the RNC tried to discredit the story only for the truth to have come out in an embarrassing fashion.

“If we genuinely want to create a more perfect union, we have to stand up for our principles against a corrupted machine of self-serving politicians in Washington,” Ellis said.

McDaniel, who is the niece of anti-Trump Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), has since purportedly blocked Ellis on Twitter.

 

 

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #16 on Feedspot’s “Top 70 Conservative Political Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021.”

 

 

The post Trump Lawyer Jenna Ellis Quits The Republican Party During Live Broadcast appeared first on The Political Insider.

Mitch McConnell Warns He Could Intervene In 2022 GOP Primaries To Boost Establishment Candidates

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) cautioned that he and those associated with him are ready to intervene in any Republican Senate primaries to defeat candidates he views as “unelectable.”

McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he, or a group closely linked to him called the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), would be willing to get involved in any primary race.

McConnell replied to Hewitt, “If necessary. There’s no question that in order to win … you have to appeal to the general election audience. I’ll be keeping an eye on that. Hopefully we won’t have to intervene, but if we do, we will.”

Conservatives will no doubt view the comments from the establishment Republican as meaning McConnell will oppose grassroots conservatives or Trump-aligned Republicans.

RELATED: North Korean Defector Blasts ‘Woke’ American Universities – ‘Even North Korea Was Not This Nuts’

Trump Candidates Vs. McConnell Candidates

Mitch McConnell and his allies ready to jump into any GOP primary they think needs guidance sets up an interesting dynamic heading into 2022 for Republicans.

By all accounts, former President Donald Trump is the head of the party, and an endorsement from him will be sought by most candidates seeking office. 

So far, the SLF has endorsed one candidate on the opposite side of Trump: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

Murkowski, who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment, has picked up a primary challenger – though Trump has not yet endorsed in that race.

Will McConnell try to woo candidates with cash? Probably so, but as  Trump’s popularity shows no signs of letting up, PACs that are associated with him are raising record amounts of cash.

RELATED: Clinton Emails Reporter Christopher Sign Who ‘Committed Suicide’ Was Getting Death Threats

Will McConnell/SLF Candidates Water Down The GOP?

Back in February, McConnell stated that the thing he cared about the most was “electability.” Americans who want to elect Republicans are also concerned with electability, but at what cost? 

Is it possible that, if McConnell and his friends intervene in enough GOP primaries, would Trump supporters smell a rat, and be suspicious of McConnell of watering down the party until it is full of John McCains and Mitt Romneys?

Just more establishment RINOs who will cave to every liberal Democrat demand?

There is also the problem of McConnell intervention into races where the context of background surrounding candidates figures very heavily in the race. In Missouri for example, former Gov. Eric Greitens has thrown his hat in the ring to replace Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). Greitens resigned from the governorship after a sex scandal in 2018.

While Greitens may have name recognition which might give him a lead in the polls due to core support from those who don’t care about the reasons behind his ouster from the Governor’s mansion, and those who just know his name, does not mean he is the most popular with voters with knowledge of his background. 

Would not just Missouri voters, but voters in any state appreciate team McConnell swooping in to take over a primary election?

RELATED: Fox Reporter Stuns Audience, Says Live On-Air She Will Reveal Information Being Kept Secret

The Task Republicans Must Focus On

The main task at hand for Republicans is taking both the House and the Senate back in 2022. Republicans must defend 20 seats, while Democrats must only defend 14.

Four of those seats were won by Democrats in 2020, and the GOP is hoping to flip them red. They are also looking at taking seats from Georgia, Arizona, and New Hampshire.

Jack Pandol, communications director for the SLF says that, “As has long been SLF’s policy, we reserve the right to intervene in cases where a candidate is a clear threat to lose a seat in a general election and to protect our Republican incumbents.”

Intervention by Mitch McConnell and friends could be seen as interfering with the will of the people, and nothing more than a power grab on his part.

Perhaps McConnell and the SLF should find out if the candidate in question is who Mitch McConnell wants or the people want. 

 

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #16 on Feedspot’s “Top 70 Conservative Political Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021.”

The post Mitch McConnell Warns He Could Intervene In 2022 GOP Primaries To Boost Establishment Candidates appeared first on The Political Insider.