Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly felt vindicated the morning after the deadly Capitol insurrection last year, telling a New York Times reporter that he was “exhilarated” about the potential damage to then-President Trump after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol and endangered lawmakers’ lives.
In excerpts of a new book by New York Times reporters titled “This Will Not Pass” that were obtained by the Washington Post, McConnell reportedly shared his thoughts about the then-President to Jonathan Martin, one of the authors of the book, the morning after the insurrection.
Asked about his feelings about the violence that ensued as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, McConnell told Martin that he felt “exhilarated by the fact” that Trump “finally, totally discredited himself,” according to the Post.
McConnell reportedly reiterated that he thought Trump “was pretty thoroughly discredited by this.”
“He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger,” McConnell said, standing in a doorway of the Capitol after midnight, according to the Post. “Couldn’t have happened at a better time.”
According to the book, McConnell also asked Martin: “What do you hear about the Twenty-Fifth Amendment?” The then-Senate majority leader was reportedly eager for intelligence about whether the Cabinet and then-Vice President Mike Pence would consider ousting Trump from office in light of the insurrection, the Post reported.
McConnell, at the time, reportedly said he spoke with then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) about issuing a joint statement advising Trump to stay away from then-President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. The statement never came to fruition.
The book also reportedly details McConnell’s rebuke of Trump in private remarks to his staff. McConnell told his staff that Trump is a “despicable person” and that he was determined to take the then-President and his allies down in the 2022 midterm elections.
“We crushed the sons of bitches, and that’s what we’re going to do in the primary in ’22” McConnell told Martin, according to the Post.
The Post’s report on “This Will Not Pass” comes days after the Times released excerpts detailing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) and McConnell’s bad-mouthing of Trump during private conversations with their associates days after the insurrection.
Although both McCarthy and McConnell issued careful rebukes of Trump publicly in the wake of the insurrection, condemning his incitement of the mob that stormed the Capitol, they reportedly made more stern remarks in private.
Among the private rebukes of Trump from the GOP leaders days after the insurrection, McConnell reportedly predicted Trump’s impeachment was imminent while having lunch with two of his longtime advisers, Terry Carmack and Scott Jennings on Jan, 11, 2021.
During the lunch, McConnell reportedly quipped that “Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us,” referring to the imminent impeachment vote in the House, according to the Times.
The Times also reported that McConnell expressed confidence that there would be a bipartisan consensus in the evenly-divided Senate to convict Trump — a prediction that fell flat.
Despite voting to ultimately acquit Trump of “incitement of insurrection” in the former president’s second impeachment trial, McConnell has remained a favorite punching bag of the former president for supposed insufficient loyalty after he initially scolded Trump on the Senate floor shortly after the insurrection. In the past year, Trump has vowed to oust McConnell as leader if the GOP retakes the Senate in the midterm elections.