Mitch McConnell blames Trump for Capitol riot, despite voting to acquit him

Key takeaways from Donald Trump’s public mauling of Mitch McConnell

Ex-president takes credit for GOP wins but none of the blame for the losses

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 17 February 2021 03:59
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Donald Trump’s mauling of “dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack” Mitch McConnell was the most the US public has heard from the ex-president since he left the White House.

Mr Trump’s lengthy post-impeachment attack on the Kentucky lawmaker came just days after Mr McConnell’s floor speech in which he blamed the former president for the Capitol violence.

It was an attempt by Mr Trump to squarely lay the blame for recent Republican defeats at the feet of Mr McConnell.

And it was his sharp reminder: “You still need me.”

Here are all the key points from the blistering attack on his former ally.

All the credit and none of the blame

In the statement Mr Trump effectively took all the credit for his party’s recent wins, but none of the blame for it losing the White House, the Senate and failing to regain the House on his watch.

Instead Mr Trump heaped scorn on Mr McConnell for losing his grip on his Senate majority.

“McConnell’s dedication to business as usual, status quo policies, together with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality, has rapidly driven him from Majority Leader to Minority Leader, and it will only get worse,” said Mr Trump.

McConnell blasted for allowing election ‘fraud’ that Mr Trump falsely claims cost him the White House

“McConnell did nothing, and will never do what needs to be done in order to secure a fair and just electoral system into the future. He doesn’t have what it takes, never did, and never will,” claimed Mr Trump.

“He is destroying the Republican side of the Senate, and in so doing, seriously hurting our Country.”

Mr Trump also claimed that he alone was behind the flipping of 15 House seats, “almost costing Nancy Pelosi her job.”

“And in ‘Mitch’s Senate.’ Over the last two election cycles, I single-handedly saved at least 12 Senate seats, more than eight in the 2020 cycle alone,” he added.

Stimulus checks row cost GOP Georgia Senate runoff elections

But Mr Trump said that Mr McConnell and his position on Covid relief checks was to blame for the “Georgia disaster,” which saw Republicans lose both Senate seats and hand over control to Chuck Schumer and the Democrats.

“We should have won both US Senate seats, but McConnell matched the Democrat offer of $2,000 stimulus checks with $600. How does that work? It became the Democrats’ principle advertisement, and a big winner for them it was,” he said.

He then blamed Mr McConnell, “one of the most unpopular politicians in the United States” for featuring himself in election ads.

Georgia Republican voters ‘anguish’ at state’s GOP officials kept them away from polls

Mr Trump then blamed Republican elected officials in the state for keeping his upset supporters away on election day, after he had spent a month claiming elections in Georgia were corrupt.

“Many Republicans in Georgia voted Democrat, or just didn’t vote, because of their anguish at their inept Governor, Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and the Republican Party for not doing its job on Election Integrity during the 2020 presidential race,” he said.

Ex-president ‘regrets’ McConnell ‘begged’ him for support in Kentucky race

The former president then said he regretted that Mr McConnell had “begged” him for his “strong support and endorsement” for his own Kentucky race in 2020.

“He went from one point down to 20 points up, and won,” insisted Mr Trump.

“How quickly forgets. Without my endorsement, McConnell would have lost, and lost badly.

“Now his numbers are lower than ever before, he is destroying the Republican side of the Senate, and in so doing, seriously hurting out Country.”

Observers always predicted Mr McConnell would hold on to his seat, despite a massive fundraising effort by his opponent, former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath.

McConnell compromised on China through marriage to Mr Trump’s former Transportation Secretary

Mr Trump also claimed that Mr McConnell’s marriage to Taiwanese-born Elaine Chao and his business interests made him soft on China.

“McConnell has no credibility on China because of his family’s substantial Chinese business holdings. He does nothing on this tremendous economic and military threat,” he added.

Trump proves he does not need Twitter after all

Despite being de-platformed by the social media giants, Mr Trump’s statement, which was released through his “Save America PAC” was instantly picked up and run by journalists.

“Donald Trump’s lengthy statement on Mitch McConnell — including falsehoods — is all over Twitter and in news reporting. So much for the complaints that Trump has been ‘silenced’ and ‘censored,’” said former Pentagon spokesman David Lapan.

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