A picture of the bad blood between former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been vividly painted in a newly published book.
Peril, by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, describes Senate colleagues joking about Mr Trump in the cloakroom after his former secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, called the president a “f****** moron.”
“‘Do you know why Tillerson was able to say that he didn’t call the president a ‘moron’?’ McConnell would dryly ask colleagues in his Kentucky drawl. ‘Because he called him a f***** moron!’” says an excerpt from the book, released on Monday on MSNBC.
Raw Story reports that relations between the two men have not improved since Mr Trump left office, as the former president has seemingly waged a personal vendetta against Mr McConnell and has allegedly been attempting to persuade Republicans to vote McConnell out of the Republican leadership.
More details about the exchanges between Mr Trump and the former vice president, as Mr Trump pressured Mike Pence to overturn the election on 6 January, were also revealed in the new book.
Peril, which is an examination of the end of the Trump presidency and subsequent transition of power, reports that Mr Pence made his position clear, affirming that he did not have the authority to do anything other than count the Electoral Votes.
The excerpt reads: “Well, what if these people say you do?” Mr Trump asked, gesturing beyond the White House to the crowds outside, raucous cheering and blasting bull horns could be heard through the Oval Office windows. “If these people say you have the power, wouldn’t you want to?” Mr Trump asked.
“I wouldn’t want any one person to have that authority,” Mr Pence said.
“But wouldn’t it almost be cool to have that power?” Mr Trump asked.
“No,” Mr Pence said. “Look, I’ve read this and I don’t see a way to do it. We’ve exhausted every option. I’ve done everything I could and then some to find a way around this. It’s simply not possible. My interpretation is no.”
Mr Woodward, who co-authored the book, explained on MSNBC: “Actually, the legitimacy of the presidency was at stake because if Pence had wavered at all and stood there in the Senate and the House and said, “I can’t decide, I’m going home,” we would have had a constitutional crisis like we’ve never seen before in this country.”
He added: “But Pence did stick to the law and the Constitution, but it was not a direct path. And the reporting that Bob Costa and I did shows very clearly that Pence was looking – looking for a way to accommodate Trump.”
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