Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), tried to bar former President Donald Trump from Joe Biden’s inauguration following the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol, according to a new book.
An excerpt from ABC News Washington correspondent Jon Karl’s tome “Betrayal” states that McConnell sought to remove Trump from the guest list because he “felt he could not give Trump another opportunity to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.” The excerpt was reported by Politico.
According to Karl, McConnell wanted all four congressional leaders — himself, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — to send Trump a letter informing him he could not attend the inauguration. However, McCarthy (R-Calif.) balked at the idea, saying “it would be an important message of unity” if the 45th president was there.
According to Karl, the letter was never sent after a top McConnell adviser informed then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows of the plan. McCarthy also reportedly notified the White House of McConnell’s intention in a separate conversation. Soon after, Trump announced that he would not be attending the swearing-in.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump wrote in his last tweet before being banned from the social media platform. Trump became the first president since Andrew Johnson to not attend his successor’s swearing-in for reasons other than death or poor health.
On Jan. 13, seven days before Biden was sworn in, the House impeached Trump on a single article of incitement of insurrection after hundreds of his supporters stormed the Capitol, an event that led to the deaths of five people. Trump was acquitted by the Senate, with McConnell among 43 Republicans voting “not guilty.”
Trump has not yet publicly commented on the report. However, he has repeatedly criticized McConnell since leaving the White House and has recently bestowed the nickname of “Old Crow” on the Kentucky Republican.
“Mitch McConnell has stated that he will not go to the signing of the ‘Non-Infrastructure’ Bill (only 11% for real Infrastructure) or, as it is sometimes called, the Elect Democrats in 2022/24 Act,” Trump raged in a Saturday statement. “It gives Biden and the Democrats a victory just as they were falling off the cliff.
“Based on the fact that the Old Crow convinced many Republican Senators to vote for the Bill, greatly jeopardizing their chance of winning re-election, and that he led the way, he should go to the signing and put up with the scorn from Great Republican Patriots that are already lambasting him,” Trump added. “Our Country is being destroyed while Mitch McConnell gives lifelines to those who are destroying it!”
“Betrayal” is set to be released Tuesday.