A feud broke out over the weekend between South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. The immediate involvement of the former president in the assault on the Capitol is over.
Simply put, McConnell is taking a much tougher stance on Trump’s guilt on the topic than Graham, and McConnell said as much during and after the recent trial.
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FNC: “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, after criticizing the former president, is taking flak from the closest allies of former President Donald Trump and could set himself up for even more of a showdown in 2022 if Trump remains active in the GOP.”
“My objective is to have nominees representing the Republican Party who can win in November, in every possible way,” McConnell told Politico. Any of them may be individuals that the former president likes. Maybe some of them are not. Electability is the only thing I care about. I’m not predicting that the president is going to help those who can’t succeed.
McConnell blasted the former president on Saturday during the trial and said Trump committed “a disgraceful dereliction of duty” by his actions.
McConnell now on the floor. Speaking out against Trump saying election was stolen. Accuses Trump of trying to “feign surprise” that his supporters would take allegations of election fraud. Calls Trump’s conduct “unconscionable”
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 13, 2021
McConnell: “There is no question… that President Trump is responsible, in practice and morally, for provoking the events of the day,” he said. “The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on their president’s wishes and orders. And getting the conviction was a foreseeable consequence of the increasing crescendo of false claims, theories of conspiracy, and irresponsible hyperbole.
His banners were borne by those offenders. Hanging flags and shouting their allegiance to him. It was clear that only President Trump could bring an end to this… He was openly begged by former aides to do so. The administration desperately called loyal allies. The chairman did not move swiftly. He wasn’t doing his job…
“But on constitutionality, McConnell said, “I agree that the strongest constitutional reading shows that Section 4 of Article II exhausts the group of individuals who may legally be impeached, charged or convicted. It’s the president, the vice president, the civil servants. We have no authority to prosecute and disqualify a former officeholder who is now a private citizen..
He hasn’t gotten away with anything. In this world, we have a criminal justice system. We’ve got civil cases.
With all those words, Graham had a huge issue. Sen. McConnell’s speech, I think, clearly got a load off his face, but sadly he put a load on the back of the Republicans. You’ll see the speech in the 2022 campaign.
Graham said Trump had promoted “election narratives that I think are not sound and not true,” but he does not believe the words of the former president caused the riot. Two Republican leaders, two opinions that are distinct. In the Senate or in the whole Republican Party, this split will not go away anytime soon.