McConnell tried to expel Trump from Biden’s inauguration

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Donald Trump

McConnell’s letter and attempt to prevent Trump from coming to the inauguration never came to fruition. Karl writes this because after a top adviser to the Kentucky Republican informed Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, that McConnell was going to unload Trump and McCarthy separated from McConnell’s plan to the White House, Trump posted a preventive tweet – his very last on the platform – his decision not to participate.

But while McConnell may have been upset with Trump, he also took proactive steps to limit the sentence Trump would receive. Although McConnell criticized the president’s contributions to the riot, he famously did not vote for Trump’s impeachment, arguing that there were other ways to hold him accountable.

Karl also reports that Trump critic Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) Texted McConnell in late May saying she believed the Senate Republicans made a mistake in setting up a bipartisan commission to investigate the Blocked January 6th. A month later, McConnell called Cheney to say she should move on and that challenging Trump in the upcoming election would only hurt Republicans and jeopardize their own re-election campaigns.

The double excerpts from Karl’s book, due out Tuesday and due to be procured by POLITICO, are the newest and most vivid examples of the strained and complicated relationship between McConnell and Trump.

Trump and McConnell spokesmen did not comment on the record for this story.

Trump once described McConnell as his “ace in the hole” in a foreword to McConnell’s autobiography, and the two worked together to usher in a wave of conservative judges. But they also known to distrust each other, with Trump frequently criticizing McConnell for failing to do more to move his agenda. The two most powerful Republicans are now publicly divided as Trump once again criticized McConnell, this time for his support for the bipartisan infrastructure bill due for Biden to sign on Monday.

In public statements last week, Trump questioned the content of the bill and beat up the Kentucky Republican for supporting the move, which included $ 550 billion in new spending on improvements and updates to public bridges, roads, airports, Waterways and even broadband. Trump ridiculed McConnell as an “old crow” and challenged him to appear at the White House signing ceremony on Monday. McConnell said he has no plans to attend.

“It gives Biden and the Democrats a victory when they fell off the cliff!” Trump said that on Saturday night.

In private, the contempt is even harder. Trump has forged ways to rid McConnell of his post at the head of the Senate GOP should the party take back power in the meantime. And he accused the senator of sabotaging him during his tenure by resisting infrastructure laws.

In the midst of resentment, McConnell shrugged. Senior Republican advisers said the Senator believes his job is safe and has no plans to recalibrate or decline his support for the infrastructure bill, which he has described as a “godsend” for Kentucky.

The sharpness between the two men may not be new. But with Republicans poised to come back to power, possibly in the medium term, and Trump becoming increasingly likely to run for office again, that sharpness could lead to some complications.

Trump and his allies not only wanted McConnell to step down, they also wanted political threats against the House Republicans who supported the Infrastructure Act in their board duties. A total of 19 Republican senators and 13 members of the Republican House of Representatives voted in favor of the infrastructure bill.

“Very sad that the RINOs in the House and Senate gave Biden and the Democrats a victory in the ‘non-infrastructure’ law,” Trump said in a statement. “You just don’t get it!”

Trump’s anger over the passing of the Infrastructure Act has a political as well as a personal component. Trump has repeatedly expressed his desire to pass an infrastructure bill during his presidency just to fail to seriously advance one.

In interviews, former White House officials noted the limited bandwidth Trump and the White House had to do a lot of bipartisan work on Capitol Hill. The White House had made the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) a major legislative priority, leaving them little room for high-priced infrastructure negotiations – especially in a hostile political environment.

“We went through various seizures as the plan worked out, but the president was very practical, it was something he understood from his own background. It was important to him, “said a former White House official. After passing USMCA, “there was a real effort going into infrastructure, and then obviously things got out of hand at the end of the year, and part of it was that the president wanted a big infrastructure package and the payment for it was a challenge. ”

But Trump made it clear in statements and interviews that he still longs for his own infrastructure deal, and he saw McConnell as a particular obstacle to all of this because he opposed a $ 2 trillion infrastructure deal during Trump’s White House would have.

“I think [Trump] is upset that he didn’t make it and is looking for reasons to attack Republicans, and McConnell in particular, ”said a senior Republican adviser. “If it were a real political vote on something, it would be one thing, but it is substantial legislation that could be good for your district and punishing someone would be so inconceivable it doesn’t make sense.”

While McConnell turned down a massive infrastructure deal under Trump because they had no way of offsetting the cost of the bill, he was only part of the reason it was sunk. In 2019, Trump and the Democrats agreed on a $ 2 trillion infrastructure deal. However, there were concerns about how the bill would be paid for it, and Trump famously left a three-minute meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer after calling for an end to his investigation.

Trump marched into the rose garden to tell reporters, “I went into the room and said to Senator Schumer and House Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to create infrastructure, I want to do more than you do'” called Trump. “‘But you know what? You can’t do it under these conditions, get this false investigation over with.'”

Pelosi said at the time, according to an advisor: “I knew the president was not serious about the infrastructure and would find a way out.” And congressional aides and former Trump officials blamed the lack of progress on the toxic political atmosphere that Trump himself had fomented.

With the impeachment, “any sort of prospect that Trump would work with Spokeswoman Pelosi was dashed, so it wasn’t even on the table. “They focused on defeating Trump … I don’t think it was ever a serious endeavor. It takes some leadership from the President to achieve something like this [on Capitol Hill], and it wasn’t there. “

Adjutants pushed ahead, but also recognized the pointlessness of working on the infrastructure and even played the joke that it was “always infrastructure week”.

“There was hope, we tried,” said another former senior White House official. “But then the well was poisoned.”

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