(by Lucas Aulbach of the Courier-Journal, via AP Storyshare)
Former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are at odds again this week, this time over President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony.
Trump, in a statement Monday afternoon, said he would “never have agreed” to be in attendance when Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, calling the decision “mine, and mine alone.”
“The old broken-down Crow, Mitch McConnell, had nothing to do with it,” Trump wrote, saying the longtime U.S. senator from Kentucky “was probably too busy working on deals with China for his wife (former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, a native of Taiwan) and family.”
Trump’s statement came following a report in a forthcoming book from ABC News White House reporter Johnathan Karl that McConnell in January had pushed aides to draft a letter telling Trump he would not be welcome at Biden’s inauguration, following the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt at the U.S. Capitol.
Representatives from McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.
In his upcoming book, “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show,” Karl reported McConnell’s efforts to produce a letter disinviting Trump from the event had led the then-president to issue a statement of his own on Jan. 8 that he would not attend the inauguration ceremony, according to ABC News. That message marked Trump’s final Twitter post before he was banned from the social media platform.
Still, according to Karl, McConnell’s move was met with pushback by other GOP leaders. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, opposed the idea and wanted to put forward a more united front, according to ABC News, but Karl wrote McConnell “was determined to disinvite Trump regardless of whether McCarthy would sign the letter."
In his statement Monday, Trump wrote that he never heard about McConnell's suggested letter and that "if he ever did get it signed, I probably would have held my nose and gone," despite writing earlier that he "would never have agreed to go" to the event. Trump also continued to claim without evidence that the 2020 presidential election was "rigged" and that McConnell "did nothing."
McConnell repeatedly said Trump bore responsibility for the events that transpired at the Capitol in the aftermath of Jan. 6, though he voted in February to acquit Trump of inciting an insurrection during his second impeachment trial, saying he believed it would be unconstitutional to convict the former president after leaving office.
McConnell has had little to say about Trump in the months since that trial, though he said in February he would "absolutely" support Trump in the 2024 presidential election if he were to run again and be nominated by the GOP.
That hasn't stopped Trump from continuing to rail against the Kentucky senator, though.
The former president called McConnell a "stupid person" in an interview with journalists Caol Leonning and Philip Rucker in March and called him an "Old Crow" in a separate statement issued over the weekend as he encouraged McConnell to attend Monday's ceremony in which Biden will sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. McConnell voted in favor of the deal earlier this year but said last week that he would not attend Monday's signing.
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