UPDATE: Trump has responded to Jonathan Karl’s report suggesting he announced he was not attending President Biden’s inauguration only after he received word that Mitch McConnell was working to disinvite him.
“From Election Day, November 3rd, the day I realized that the 2020 Presidential Election was rigged, I would never have agreed to go to Joe Biden’s Inauguration,” he wrote in a statement released Monday. “This decision was mine, and mine alone. The old broken-down Crow, Mitch McConnell, had nothing to do with it.”
President Donald J. Trump:
“From Election Day, November 3rd, the day I realized that the 2020 Presidential Election was rigged, I would never have agreed to go to Joe Biden’s Inauguration. This decision was mine, and mine alone. The old broken-down Crow, Mitch McConnell… pic.twitter.com/pyAYyn11Dk
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) November 15, 2021
Original story below.
Donald Trump chose not to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration. Mitch McConnell wanted to make sure he didn’t even have the option.
The most powerful Republican in the Senate tried to get Trump disinvited from Biden’s swearing-in out of fear that the former president might try to disrupt the peaceful transition of power, according to Betrayal, Jonathan Karl’s new book about the final days of Trump’s time in office. Politico reported the revelation on Monday.
The plan was rendered moot when Trump tweeted that he would not be attending. Betrayal suggests, however, that Trump’s announcement may have been the result of McConnell’s intentions making their way to the White House. Karl writes that one of McConnell’s advisers told Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the plan, and that Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House of Representatives, also informed the White House that McConnell was trying to get Trump disinvited.
McConnell had wanted four congressional leaders to write a letter to Trump informing him that he’d been disinvited, but McCarthy objected, saying Trump needed to be there for the sake of “unity.”
The book notes that McConnell has tried to shield the Republican Party from Trump, including by protecting Trump so he doesn’t reflect poorly on the party. He didn’t vote for his impeachment in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and, according to Karl, tried to disuade Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from participating in the commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, arguing it could hurt Republicans in 2022 and beyond.
Trump, meanwhile, despises McConnell. The former president released a statement specifically to bash the GOP’s most powerful legislator in the wake of the passage of Biden’s infrastructure plan, which McConnell supported. “Why is it that Old Crow Mitch McConnell voted for a terrible Democrat Socialist Infrastructure Place, and inducted 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?” Trump wrote last week.