In the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell sought to have then-President Donald Trump disinvited from Joe Biden’s inauguration over worries he would disrupt the peaceful transition of power, according to an upcoming book by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, underscoring the fractious relationship between Trump and the senate minority leader.
Following the Jan. 6 riots, McConnell planned to have the four congressional leaders pen a letter to Trump informing him he would not be welcome at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration, according to Karl’s book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show.
McConnell reportedly “felt he could not give Trump another opportunity to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” Karl wrote.
The plan was reportedly scuppered by Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy, according to the book, who opposed the idea and felt “it would be an important message of unity” for Trump to attend.
According to Karl, McCarthy warned the White House of McConnell’s plan, prompting Trump to preemptively tweet his decision not to attend the ceremony.
“Trump apparently wanted people to think it was his decision alone to become the first outgoing president after an election to fail to attend an inauguration since Andrew Johnson skipped the inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant in 1869,” Karl wrote.
Trump was the first incumbent president in more than 150 years to sit out his successor’s swearing-in. At the time, the then-president had still not admitted Joe Biden legitimately won the presidential election and on Jan. 6 supporters of the outgoing president stormed the Capitol, disrupting efforts to certify the election and chanting “hang Mike Pence.” McConnell, who balanced a tense collaboration with Trump during his four-year tenure as president, made a rare break with the then-president and openly opposed Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. Despite directly blaming Trump for the events of Jan. 6, McConnell voted to acquit Trump and subsequently opposed the creation of a commission to investigate what happened.
Trump renewed his attacks on McConnell this weekend, calling him an “Old Crow” who has jeopardized the chance of Republican chances of re-election. Trump said McConnell, one of 19 Senate Republicans to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure package, ought to attend the White House signing ceremony for the bill and “put up with the scorn from Great Republican Patriots that are already lambasting him.” Trump claimed the bill will help Democrats get elected.
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