Former President Donald Trump told the authors of a forthcoming book that Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell’s refusal to play along with his false assertion that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent is the reason he’s no longer in the White House.
In an excerpt of the new book This Will Not Pass obtained by Punchbowl News, Mr Trump told authors Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns that “Had Mitch stuck with many members of the party who knew the election was rigged, I think we wouldn’t be at Mar-a-Lago.”
“We would be at the White House having this conversation,” he added.
Mr Trump has long had a frosty relationship with the Senate Minority Leader, who said that Mr Trump was “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events” of the 6 January Capitol riot.
Nevertheless, Mr McConnell voted against removing Mr Trump from office and has vowed to support him if he has again the Republican Party nominee for president in 2024.
Mr McConnell was not alone among high-ranking Republicans in his disillusionment with Mr Trump following the events of 6 January.
In audio of a phone call obtained by Mr Martin and Mr Burns, Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy said that he would ask Mr Trump to resign.
Despite an effort to stop the certification of electoral votes for Mr Biden in states like Pennsylvania and Arizona, only eight Republican senators ultimately voted to object to the certification of any electoral votes.
Ultimately, though, Mr Trump’s political fortunes rebounded from that nadir. He survived a second impeachment attempt and has gone on to maintain a firm grip on the Republican Party — to the extent that he is the clear frontrunner for the party’s presidential nomination should he choose to run again.
In the past year, Mr McConnell and Mr Trump have continued to clash. Mr Trump blasted Mr McConnell for voting for President Biden’s infrastructure bill last year, wondering in a statement “why is it that Old Crow Mitch McConnell voted for a terrible Democrat Socialist Infrastructure Plan, and induced others in his Party to do likewise, when he was incapable of getting a great Infrastructure Plan wanting to be put forward by me and the Republican Party?”
The pair have also been at odds over their preferred candidates in a number of high-profile Senate races, with Mr McConnell failing to convince a number of high profile targets like New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to run.