McConnell is not shocked by the loss of Trump, said there had been “many Maalox moments”: book
- Mitch McConnell was not shocked by Joe Biden’s election victory over Donald Trump, according to a new book.
- âThere have been so many Maalox moments over the four years,â McConnell reportedly told his staff.
- McConnell was cautious in communicating with Biden while Trump contested the election results.
After Joe Biden was declared President-elect of the United States by most major news organizations last November, many Republicans were in disbelief that the former vice president had beaten then-President Donald Trump.
But then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who had served in the upper house alongside Biden for decades, was “the least surprised,” according to a new book from Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, a first copy of which was obtained by Insider.
McConnell, who had been a government partner of Trump, accompanying three Supreme Court justices and dozens of appellate judges, as well as passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other priorities Conservatives, nevertheless had to contend with the extremely unpredictable President, who could tank a bill as easily as he could sell it to the Conservatives.
The senator, who at the time closely watched the Georgia Senate second-round contests that would determine whether Republicans controlled the upper house or ceded control to Democrats, chose to give Trump some space as the Election results were still falling apart, which Woodward and Costa wrote in âPerilâ.
Despite being from the same political party, McConnell told his staff that the president’s actions can often lead to difficult situations, according to the book.
âThere have been so many Maalox moments over the four years,â he reportedly told his staff, referring to the antacid commonly used to treat stress-induced heartburn.
Meanwhile, McConnell continued to tread lightly with Trump – working behind the scenes to prevent Biden from calling him for fear of upsetting the president, whom the then majority leader still wanted to keep in his lap.
“McConnell feared Trump would react negatively and upset the upcoming hotly contested Georgia Senate election,” the book reads. He also said he didn’t want Biden, a serial phone user, to call him. Any call from Biden was sure to anger Trump and spark unwanted calls from him, asking if he believed Biden had won the presidency. “
To keep things a secret, McConnell contacted GOP Senator John Cornyn of Texas to speak privately with Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a confidant of Biden, about a “side channel” for the majority leader of the era has a level of communication. with the elected president.
Cornyn said the senators were “in a sticky situation” as Trump may have assumed the men “were making a deal behind his back to cut him off,” which would make him “even more irrational.”
Around this time, McConnell publicly defended Trump’s right to challenge election results, with the president’s campaign targeting ballots in swing states he narrowly lost, including Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. .
“Obviously, no state has yet certified the results of their elections,” McConnell said at the time. “We have at least one or two states that are already on track for a recount and I think the president may have legal challenges pending in at least five states.”
He added: “President Trump is 100% within his rights to examine allegations of wrongdoing and assess his legal options.”
The president and his legal team ultimately filed more than 40 unsuccessful election-related lawsuits in courts across the country.
After Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial for “inciting insurgency” for his role in the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill, McConnell refused to find the president guilty, but berated him in the Senate. McConnell later said he would back Trump in 2024 if he was the GOP candidate.
But there is no love lost between the two men. Trump continues to regularly insult McConnell. And the now-minority leader is focused on regaining control of the Senate in 2022.