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Mitch McConnell (aka Moscow Mitch) Trump Enabler Helping Trump and Russia More Than America


Mitch McConnell (aka Moscow Mitch) is a Trump enabler who has done more to protect and enable Trump and help Russia than he has done to help America and protect the constitution. Instead of Mitch McConnell, doing his job to help Americans during the great recession his focus was to make Obama a one-term president. Mitch McConnell did his best to obstruct Obama during the great recession at the expense of everyday Americans. Instead of trying to help Americans, he wanted to prevent Obama from accomplishing anything even if meant harming Americans. If McConnell were a real American, he would put aside any difference with Obama and worked with him for the American people.

McConnell made up a lie to steal Obama Supreme Court pick can you say coup d’état. Now under the same set of circumstances he would fill a Supreme Court opening can you say hypocrite. When Obama wanted come out with joint statement on Russian interference instead of doing the right thing Moscow Mitch said no and threatened to use it against Obama, which would have caused confusing during the 2016 elections. We know Moscow Mitch knew about Russian interference during the 2016 election so why does he keep preventing election security bills from passing.

Moscow Mitch has done nothing to prevent Russian hacking of the 2020 election and it does not appear he plans to do so. We elect our representatives to protect us from our enemies both foreign and domestic (Trump) Moscow Mitch refuses to protect us from both. Republicans do not believe in laws or the constitution applies to them. Republicans only care about our laws and the constitution when they are not in power using it to attack democrats. When they are in power they violate our laws and the constitution every chance they get. Read below to find out more about Moscow Mitch. #moscowmitch, #massacremitch  

Pelosi calls McConnell's support of dismissing impeachment articles a 'cover up'

By Chandelis Duster, CNN

Washington (CNN) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's supporting a resolution to dismiss the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump a "cover up." "The dismissing is a cover-up. Dismissing is a cover-up," Pelosi said during an interview on ABC's "This Week." "If they want to go that route, again the senators who are thinking now about voting for witnesses or not, they will have to be accountable for not having a fair trial." McConnell signed onto a resolution from Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri last week to allow for the dismissal of the obstruction of Congress and abuse of power charges against Trump because Pelosi has not yet transferred the articles to the Senate for a trial. Republicans don't have the votes to dismiss the articles. The California Democrat, who has so far withheld the articles as congressional leadership disagree on the shape of trial procedures, said in a letter to her caucus on Friday she was prepared to send the articles of impeachment this week.

McConnell says he has the votes to set impeachment trial rules without Democratic support

By Manu Raju and Phil Mattingly, CNN

(CNN) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he has the votes to set the ground rules of the impeachment trial for President Donald Trump -- without Democrats' support. McConnell first made the remarks during a closed-door lunch with his fellow Republican senators on Capitol Hill, an official in the room told CNN, before McConnell made the announcement publicly during a news conference following the lunch. McConnell made clear he had no plans to move forward on a trial until the two articles of impeachment are sent to the Senate, as he has said publicly.

"We have the votes once the impeachment trial has begun to pass a resolution essentially the same, very similar to the 100-to-nothing vote in the Clinton trial, which sets up what's best described as a phase one," McConnell said Tuesday. All McConnell needs is 51 senators -- or a simple majority of the 100-member chamber -- to vote to approve those ground rules. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah have said they back the leader's approach. This is different than the Senate trial for then-President Bill Clinton in 1999, when the ground rules were set by a 100-0 vote. This time it will likely be approved on a party-line vote.

Democrats want a deal up front to hear from witnesses and get documents, but McConnell says those matters should be dealt with later after opening statements. Republicans won't act until they get the two articles of impeachment from the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has held on to them since they were voted on in the House in December. "It continues to be my hope that the speaker will send them on over," McConnell said Tuesday at his news conference.

McConnell’s Big Mistake Defending Trump? Listening to Him.

The president’s calling the shots for the majority leader now, and it’s not going well.
By Margaret Carlson

The first crack in Donald Trump’s red wall came on Christmas Eve when not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse, except for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said she was “disturbed” by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s promise of “total coordination” with Donald Trump in his impeachment trial in the Senate. “It’s wrong to pre-judge,” she said of McConnell working “hand-in-glove” with Trump.

Straightforward and conscientious, so press-reluctant her name auto-corrects to “Murrow skis,” the daughter of a former governor breaking publicly with McConnell is like her donning a lampshade and popping open the Champagne on New Year’s Eve. When she opposed the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, rather than dramatize her struggle—by contrast to Sen. Susan Collins, who went on about how hard it all was but finally voted as Trump told her to—Murkowski voted “present.” It didn’t change the outcome—Kavanaugh’s approval was in the bag—but by going against Trump and McConnell she stayed true to her conscience, something the rest of her caucus lost in 2016, bearing out Sen. Lindsey Graham’s warning to his party that, by nominating Trump, “We will get destroyed… and we will deserve it.”  

Murkowski wouldn’t have gone so far as to be “disturbed” had McConnell not committed one of the few mistakes of his political life in no longer simply doing everything Trump tells him to do, but doing it the way Trump tells him to. McConnell, left to his own devices, wouldn’t have revealed that “Everything I do during this [trial] I’m coordinating with White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position.”

Moderate GOP senator 'disturbed' by McConnell's coordination with White House

Kevin Liptak-Profile-Image
By Kevin Liptak and Manu Raju, CNN

Washington (CNN) Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she is "disturbed" by coordination between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the White House over the upcoming Senate impeachment trial. Senate leaders have yet to reach an agreement on the rules of the trial, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not sent the Senate the impeachment articles necessary to begin the proceedings. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for the Senate to pursue witnesses and documents, which McConnell opposes, leading to a holiday impasse and uncertainty as to when the trial will begin. But Murkowski said McConnell had "confused the process" by saying he was acting in "total coordination" with the White House on setting the parameters for the trial. "And in fairness, when I heard that, I was disturbed," Murkowski told KTUU, a CNN affiliate.

"To me, it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense, and so I heard what Leader McConnell had said, I happened to think that that has further confused the process," she went on. Murkowski's comments are notable because in the wake of House Republicans' unanimous vote last week to oppose the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Senate Republicans have given no public indication that there is any dissent among their ranks. As a moderate, Murkowski, who opposed Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, will be closely watched during the upcoming trial, and she told KTUU she is undecided as to how she'll vote.

GOP Sen. Grassley says Mitch McConnell sabotaged support for his drug pricing bill

By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is responsible for his colleagues’ apparent lack of enthusiasm about his bipartisan bill to lower drug prices. When asked by reporters during a briefing why more Senate Republicans haven’t supported the legislation, the Senate Finance Committee chairman said because McConnell “asked them not to.”

“The president wants it!” Grassley said, according to a recording of the briefing. Grassley and McConnell have reportedly been at odds over the bipartisan measure, which has support from President Donald Trump and many Senate Democrats.

As House votes to impeach Trump, McConnell pushes 13 judge nominations through Senate

By Ariane de Vogue, Ted Barrett and Dan Berman, CNN

Washington (CNN) While the rest of Washington focused on impeachment proceedings Wednesday, Mitch McConnell successfully pressed forward on a subject that has been the one knockout success for the Republican Senate and President Donald Trump: judges. Wednesday afternoon, the Senate majority leader forced a deal with Democrats to expedite 11 federal district judge nominations. McConnell's thrust is emblematic of what he sees as his crowning achievement. So far, he has led the charge changing the landscape of the federal courts across the country with a record number of appellate court judges -- currently at 50 -- and Supreme Court nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. "My motto for the remainder of this Congress is 'leave no vacancy behind,'" McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday.

McConnell had scheduled procedural votes on nominees coming roughly every two hours. Two votes were held Wednesday before the agreement was reached to speed things along with 11 consecutive votes in the late afternoon. Final votes to confirm the nominees have not yet been scheduled. The threat of keeping senators in extra days or through the weekend is a tactic as old as time, but nevertheless usually yields results. Previous deals cutting short debate and allowing nominees to be approved so senators can go home for recess have been met with liberal unhappiness, however. Two deals reached last year allowed senators to return home to their states during the middle of the re-election campaign, but in the end it was Democratic incumbents who lost, giving the Republicans the stronger 53-47 majority they enjoy today. - McConnell stole Obama supreme court pick and now is stacking the courts with rightwing judges who are not qualified for the job.

Democratic Senators are Tweeting Photos of the Giant Pile of 'Dead' House-Passed Bills on Mitch McConnell's Desk

By Blake Dodge

U.S. Senators are sharing photographs of the growing pile of bills passed by the House only to stymie on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's desk. The stack, a symbolic replication of legislation McConnell refuses to bring to a vote, was reportedly the brain child of Senator Debbie Stabenow. According to her office, it includes more than 300 bills about voter registration, background checks for firearm sales, domestic violence, climate change, minimum wage increases and other issues.

The do-nothing strategy spearheaded by McConnell's office seems intentional, Democrats claim. Back in September, McConnell promised to be a "grim reaper" to any and all progressive legislation. But, as multiple Senators pointed out Wednesday, more than 275 of these "dead" bills cleared the House with bipartisan support.

In a press conference meant to highlight the "legislative graveyard" Tuesday morning, Stabenow said that the American people expect Congress to pass legislation "that will improve their lives and improve the lives of their families." "Unfortunately, though, that is not what's happening because the Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has turned the Senate into a legislative graveyard," she added.

McConnell: 'I'm Not Impartial' About Impeachment

by Kelsey Snell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed the impeachment process against President Trump as a political proceeding rather than a judicial one.

"I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There's not anything judicial about it," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday. "The House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I'm not impartial about this at all."

The House could vote as early as Wednesday to impeach Trump on charges that he obstructed Congress and abused power. Whether Trump conditioned aid to Ukraine to a Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens is at the heart of the impeachment proceedings against the president. Trump has denied any such link was made, and in a letter Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump compared his impending impeachment to "subverting American's democracy."

McConnell rejects Schumer's call for witnesses at impeachment trial

By Ted Barrett, CNN

(CNN) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday rejected calls from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to allow witnesses at an expected Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. "We don't create impeachments," he said in remarks prepared for delivery on the Senate floor. "We judge them." "The House chose this road. It is their duty to investigate. It is their duty to meet the very high bar for undoing a national election," McConnell said. "If they fail, they fail. It is not the Senate's job to leap into the breach and search desperately for ways to "get to 'guilty.' That would hardly be impartial justice."

Democrats concerned about McConnell's White House impeachment coordination

By Clare Foran and Ali Zaslav, CNN

Washington (CNN) Some Democrats are raising concerns about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's statement that he will coordinate closely with the White House on the looming Senate impeachment trial, with one House Democrat saying the Kentucky Republican should recuse himself entirely. "He's working hand in hand with the White House, with the President's attorney, and yet we're supposed to expect him to manage a fair and impartial trial?" said Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings when asked about McConnell's remarks. "I think he should recuse himself."

Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington called the coordination "ridiculous." "I think it is outrageous for the chief juror who is organizing the trial to be coordinating with the defendant," Jayapal told reporters. Under the Constitution, it's up to the House to charge the President with impeachment, and the Senate to convict or acquit -- making senators, including McConnell, the de facto jury.

The House Judiciary Committee on Friday approved articles of impeachment against the President, paving the way for the final floor vote expected next week. That will set up the Senate trial, for which senators are now gearing up. Democrats wield majority control in the House, but Republicans hold a majority in the Senate. Some Senate Republicans have been careful not to tip their hands ahead of the expected trial, but many have been vocal in saying that they do not believe the Ukraine scandal rises to the level of impeachment. McConnell himself said on Fox News on Thursday, "We all know how it's going to end. There is no chance the President is going to be removed from office."

McConnell’s awful Hannity interview shows power of Fox News’s disinformation

By Greg Sargent Opinion writer

It has often been observed that one of President Trump’s biggest allies in the impeachment battle is Fox News — that if Richard Nixon had enjoyed the benefit of such a powerful purveyor of propaganda, he wouldn’t have been driven from office. You could not ask for a clearer indication of this than the interview that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just gave to Sean Hannity about Trump’s coming trial.

The interview showcases how Trump’s propagandists have succeeded in creating a universe that is as hermetically sealed off from this scandal’s widely and firmly established set of facts as one half of a divided cell is from the other. In this universe, it’s simultaneously the case that everything Trump said on his corrupt call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was absolutely fine and that the key elements of Trump’s pressure on Zelensky simply never happened.

And in this universe, it’s not just fully understood that Trump’s acquittal is assured in advance and that the trial will be gamed to Trump’s maximum benefit. It’s also understood that this is how it should be. Indeed, the interview appears designed to reassure audiences of all this.

That was plainly evident in McConnell’s quotes about how this process will unfold. As McConnell said:

Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.

McConnell also said:

We’ll be working through this process ... in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people representing the president in the well of the Senate.

Many have sharply criticized McConnell for telegraphing that the trial will be gamed in advance to assure Trump’s acquittal and to make it as politically painless as possible. - Mitch McConnell is violating his oath of office it is to the constitution not to Trump.

McConnell: In 'total coordination' with White House for impeachment trial

By Savannah Behrmann USA TODAY

WASHINGTON- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday that he will be in "total coordination with the White House counsel" as the impeachment into President Donald Trump presses forward.

During an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, the Majority Leader said that "everything" he does "during this, I'm coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this, to the extent that we can."

"We don't have the kind of ball control on this that a typical issue, for example, comes over from the House, if I don't like it, we don't take it up," McConnell stated about an impeachment trial. "We have no choice but to take it up, but we'll be working through this process, hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with White House counsel's office and the people who are representing the President in the well of the Senate." - Mitch McConnell and Republican do not give a shit about our laws or the constitution only power. Americans need to vote out the corrupt republicans before they do any more damage to our country.

McConnell: No chance Trump will be removed from office

In an interview on Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said there was "no chance" President Trump would be removed from office after an impeachment trial in the Senate. - Mitch McConnell and Republican do not give a shit about our laws or the constitution only power. Americans need to vote out the corrupt republicans before they do any more damage to our country.

Mitch McConnell Says There’s ‘No Chance’ Trump Will Be Removed From Office

“My hope is there won’t be a single Republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment,” the Senate majority leader said.
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By Nick Visser

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that he didn’t believe any Republicans in the Senate planned to vote to remove President Donald Trump from office should the House impeach him next week, saying he even expected some Democrats to side with GOP lawmakers.

“There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office,” McConnell told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday evening. “My hope is there won’t be a single Republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment. And Sean, it wouldn’t surprise me if we got one or two Democrats.” - Mitch McConnell and Republican do not give a shit about our laws or the constitution only power. Americans need to vote out the corrupt republicans before they do any more damage to our country.

McConnell’s plan for sham trial reveals depths of Trump’s corruption

By Greg Sargent

If Mitch McConnell goes through with his reported plan to hold a sham impeachment trial that acquits President Trump without calling witnesses, it will provide the perfect coda for the corrupt and farcical way Trump’s defenders have handled this saga all throughout.

In so doing, the Senate majority leader and other assorted Trump propagandists will be unabashedly enshrining their position as follows: We’ve already decided in advance that the full facts will not persuade us to turn on Trump, no matter how damning they are, so why should we listen to them at all?

This is how Trump’s defenders actually view the situation — and the awful implications of this should not be sugar-coated.

Yet the scheme may not prove as easy to get away with as they think. Handled properly, Democrats can use it to demonstrate that Republicans themselves know Trump’s substantive defenses are weak and his corruption is indefensible — and vividly show how Republicans are functioning as Trump’s full-blown accomplices.

Houston police chief criticizes McConnell and Senate Republicans over guns: 'Whose side are you on?'

By Chandelis Duster, CNN

Washington (CNN) Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican lawmakers for not reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and taking action against gun violence, asking them in emotional remarks to choose between the nation's foremost gun lobby and "the children that are getting gunned down in this country every single day."

Acevedo made his remarks to reporters Monday as the Houston Police Department prepared to escort the body of Sgt. Chris Brewster, an officer who died in the line of duty, to a funeral home. The 32-year-old was shot and killed while responding to a call with a team on Saturday. "I don't want to hear about how much they support law enforcement," Acevedo said.

"I don't want to hear about how much they care about lives and the sanctity of lives yet, we all know in law enforcement that one of the biggest reasons that the Senate and Mitch McConnell and (Texas Sens.) John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and others are not getting into a room and having a conference committee with the House and getting the Violence Against Women's Act (passed) is because the NRA doesn't like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends. And who killed our sergeant? A boyfriend abusing his girlfriend. So you're either here for women and children and our daughters and our sisters and our aunts, or you're here for the (National Rifle Association)."

McConnell says Senate would acquit Trump if trial held today

By MARIANNE LEVINE

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the Senate would acquit President Donald Trump if an impeachment trial were held today.

“I will say I’m pretty sure how it’s likely to end,” McConnell told reporters. “If it were today I don’t think there’s any question — it would not lead to a removal. So the question is how long does the Senate want to take? How long do the presidential candidates want to be here on the floor of the Senate instead of in Iowa and New Hampshire?”

The Kentucky Republican added that he has yet to speak with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on how the Senate would handle impeachment. But he said the two would likely start by looking at the agreement struck between former Senate leaders Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) during the Clinton impeachment trial. Full Story - McConnell plans to give Trump a pass.

McConnell to Republicans: Defend Trump on process

By Alexander Bolton

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is urging Republicans to focus on Democrats and their tactics in seeking to mount an effective defense of President Trump on impeachment. One GOP lawmaker, summing up McConnell’s message to Republicans at a private lunch meeting Tuesday, quoted the GOP leader as saying, “This is going to be about process.” McConnell recognizes that some members of his conference are uncomfortable defending Trump on charges his administration linked aid to Ukraine to that country’s government running politically motivated investigations meant to help the White House. As a result, he’s telling his members they have plenty of reason to offer a vigorous defense of Trump, as the president publicly urged them to do Monday, by focusing on Democratic tactics that McConnell and Trump view as unfair.

Senate Republicans also privately make the point that it’s difficult to defend Trump on the substance of the charges against him because so much remains unknown. GOP lawmakers don’t know the identity of the whistleblower who filed a complaint against Trump or what exactly House Democrats have discovered in their investigation, which has been conducted largely behind closed doors. There are also outstanding questions about the nature of interactions between Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian officials over an investigation of Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. At the private lunch, McConnell and Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) drew a contrast between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and past Speaker Carl Albert (D-Okla.), who served during the impeachment of President Nixon. Albert in 1973 and 1974 gave Republicans much more of an opportunity to participate in the process, they said.

McConnell also said Democrats in the minority were treated better by former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) during the impeachment of President Clinton than today’s Republicans. “What is clear and not in dispute, as Sen. Blunt has pointed out, is the process in the House to which the president is being subjected is totally unprecedented and totally unfair,” McConnell told reporters after the lunch. “Speaker Albert laid out procedural guidelines during the Nixon episode — Speaker Gingrich during the Clinton impeachment episode — all of which included the kind of basic procedural safeguards that one associates in our country with being treated fairly,” he said. more... - Republicans cannot defend Trump on facts so there going to try to use the process to defend Trump. If Bill Barr had done his job and investigated the whistleblower’s compliant Democrats would not have to do the investigation needed before and impeachment vote. Republicans do not believe our laws and constitution applies to them. Republicans only care about our laws and the constitution when they are using it to attack democrats.

McConnell contradicts Trump: We've never spoken about Zelensky call

"I don’t recall any conversations with the president about that phone call," McConnell says.
By BURGESS EVERETT

President Donald Trump claimed earlier this month that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told him that his phone call with the Ukrainian president was “the most innocent phone call that I’ve ever read.” But McConnell said Tuesday he’s never discussed the phone call with the president. “We’ve not had any conversations on that subject,” McConnell told reporters. Democrats are using the call to bolster their impeachment inquiry into Trump, claiming the president abused his power when he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

McConnell has been one of the most outspoken opponents of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, arguing it is hindering passage of a new North American trade agreement and that the president and his team are not being afforded procedural protections. After reviewing the rough transcript of the call earlier this month, McConnell said it is “laughable to think this is anywhere close to an impeachable offense” and that it’s “clear there is no quid pro quo that the Democrats were desperately praying for.” But Trump said on Oct. 3 that McConnell had gone further.

“He put out a statement that said that was the most innocent phone call he's read, and I spoke to him about it too. He read my phone call with the president of Ukraine. Mitch McConnell — he said, 'That was the most innocent phone call that I've read.' I mean, give me a break,” Trump told reporters. McConnell was asked Tuesday whether the president was lying when he made that statement. The GOP leader replied: “You’ll have to ask him. I don’t recall any conversations with the president about that phone call.” more...

McConnell calls Trump administration's Syria withdrawal a 'grave strategic mistake'

By Savannah Eadens, Louisville Courier Journal

Sen. Mitch McConnell published a blistering rebuke of the Trump administration's decision to pull military forces out of Syria. In a Washington Post op-ed published Friday afternoon, McConnell, R-Ky., explained the three lessons he's learned while working with three different administrations since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "Lesson No. 1.," he wrote, is that the "threat is real and cannot be wished away." "These fanatics threaten American interests and American lives. If permitted to regroup and establish havens, they will bring terror to our shores," he said.

The second lesson, he said, is the importance of American leadership. "No other nation can match our capability to spearhead multinational campaigns that can defeat terrorists and help stabilize the region. Libya and Syria both testify to the bloody results of the Obama administration’s 'leading from behind,'" McConnell wrote. The third lesson, he said, is that the U.S. is not alone in the fight against the Islamic State and the Taliban — and that Syria had been a model for the "successful approach" of contributing "limited, specialized capabilities that enable our local partners to succeed." "Unfortunately, the administration’s recent steps in Syria do not reflect these crucial lessons," McConnell wrote. more...

Mitch McConnell sinks to new lows in enabling Trump’s corruption

By Greg Sargent

The diversion of military funds to pay for President Trump’s border wall obsession — which is taking money away from more than 100 military projects around the country, just as a junkie’s habit might take money from the grocery kitty — provides an opening to reconsider the extraordinary depths to which Mitch McConnell has sunk to enable Trump’s corruption.

The Senate majority leader has not only assisted and protected Trump in doing great damage to our democracy, for naked partisan purposes, though that’s a major stain. But McConnell also has in effect now prioritized the mission of enabling and defending Trump’s corruption over the interests of his own state and its constituents. One project that will lose funding as a result of Trump’s wall — which is now being paid for out of funds diverted as part of the national emergency that Trump declared on fabricated grounds — is on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

That project is a planned middle school at the Fort Campbell army base. The Pentagon has diverted $62.6 million in money slotted for construction of that school, as part of the $3.6 billion that has been shifted toward Trump’s wall. The New York Times has a remarkable new report on the impact this will have on the military families who have eagerly awaited the school’s construction. It means more than 500 students will continue to “cram themselves in” at another school that’s already very tight on space. That entails messy arrangements that will make it harder for students to follow lessons. more...

How Mitch McConnell Enables Trump

He’s not an institutionalist. He’s the man who surrendered the Senate to the president.
By Adam Jentleson

Among the casualties of President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build his border wall is the reputation of the majority leader Mitch McConnell as a Senate institutionalist. The evidence of the last few days has confirmed, if there were still any doubt, that he is no such thing. First, he helped prolong the longest government shutdown in American history by insisting that the Senate would act only with explicit approval from the president. Now Mr. McConnell has fully acquiesced in President Trump’s power grab by supporting an emergency declaration, which he opposed just weeks before, aimed at addressing a crisis that Senate Republicans know does not exist.

This display of obedience from the leader of a supposedly coequal branch of government is shocking only if you ever believed Mr. McConnell was an institutionalist. But his defining characteristic has always been his willingness to do anything and sacrifice any principle to amass power for himself. What separates him from the garden-variety politicians — what makes him a radical — are the lengths he is willing to go. Seeing this with clarity should help us grasp the danger to which he is subjecting the Senate — and, more important, our democracy. The signs of Mr. McConnell’s malign influence were always there. Before he became a Senate leader, he dedicated himself to opening the floodgates for corporate money to flow into our political system.

Mr. McConnell chased the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law all the way to the Supreme Court; the 2003 challenge to the law bears his name. Mr. McConnell lost that one, but his cause prevailed six years later when the Supreme Court overturned restrictions on corporate contributions in Citizens United. In 2010, as minority leader, Mr. McConnell stated that his main goal was not to help our country recover from the Great Recession but to make President Obama a “one-term president.” A self-declared “proud guardian of gridlock,” he presided over an enormous escalation in the use of the filibuster. His innovation was to transform it from a procedural tool used to block bills into a weapon of nullification, deploying it against even routine Senate business to gridlock the legislative process. The two forces that characterized Mr. McConnell’s career, obstruction and increasing the power of corporate money in our democracy, have worked hand in hand to diminish the Senate and paralyze American politics.

The flood of outside money incentivized obstruction over cooperation, and a new generation of Republicans embraced Mr. McConnell’s obstructionist tactics. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, for example, owes his standing to a few filibusters and a super PAC: As a freshman senator, he used Mr. McConnell’s tactics to shut down the government in 2013 and parlayed the resulting attention — and fund-raising — to run for president (and lose to Mr. Trump). Republicans actually took the Senate majority in 2014 in large part on claims to restore the Senate. Unsurprisingly, they broke their promises. Under President Trump, Mr. McConnell continued to run roughshod over Senate traditions, jamming the $1.5 trillion tax bill through without so much as a proper hearing. The one place the Senate has functioned efficiently is in judicial confirmations, but even here Mr. McConnell has cast aside bipartisan norms and reduced the Senate to a rubber stamp for some unqualified, extremist judges, including those rated “unqualified” by the American Bar Association.

The two forces that characterized Mr. McConnell’s career, obstruction and increasing the power of corporate money in our democracy, have worked hand in hand to diminish the Senate and paralyze American politics. The flood of outside money incentivized obstruction over cooperation, and a new generation of Republicans embraced Mr. McConnell’s obstructionist tactics. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, for example, owes his standing to a few filibusters and a super PAC: As a freshman senator, he used Mr. McConnell’s tactics to shut down the government in 2013 and parlayed the resulting attention — and fund-raising — to run for president (and lose to Mr. Trump). Republicans actually took the Senate majority in 2014 in large part on claims to restore the Senate. Unsurprisingly, they broke their promises. Under President Trump, Mr. McConnell continued to run roughshod over Senate traditions, jamming the $1.5 trillion tax bill through without so much as a proper hearing. The one place the Senate has functioned efficiently is in judicial confirmations, but even here Mr. McConnell has cast aside bipartisan norms and reduced the Senate to a rubber stamp for some unqualified, extremist judges, including those rated “unqualified” by the American Bar Association. more...

McConnell backs election security amendment after facing criticism

By MARIANNE LEVINE

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he is backing a measure to improve election security after Senate Democrats slammed him for blocking bipartisan election security legislation. The amendment to an appropriations package would provide an additional $250 million to the Trump administration to assist states with improving their voting systems and preventing foreign interference. “I am proud to have helped develop this amendment and to co-sponsor it in committee,” McConnell said on the floor. McConnell has previously supported addressing election security through appropriations. McConnell added that the amendment brings the total funding for election security to $600 million since fiscal year 2018.

"Moscow Mitch" McConnell stiffed Kentucky coal miners to fund Russia-linked aluminum plant: report

McConnell doesn’t like his “Moscow Mitch” nickname, but these latest revelations might make it difficult to shed
By Travis Gettys

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a measure that would have funded pensions and health care for coal miners in his home state of Kentucky, not long after steering almost the same Treasury Department funds to an aluminum plant linked to a Russian oligarch. The Kentucky Republican doesn’t like the “Moscow Mitch” nickname that’s been stuck to him, but these latest revelations might make it difficult to shed, reported The Daily Beast. McConell voted in January to lift sanctions on Rusal, a Russian aluminum company formerly headed by Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, and just days after the Treasury Department officially de-listed the company — it announced a $200 million investment in an aluminum plant in northeastern Kentucky.

Democrats have raised questions about how much McConnell knew about the investment before he voted to lift sanctions, but a Braidy Industries spokesperson told The Daily Beast the company never lobbied Congress about sanctions, and said no employee or director of the company ever spoke to McConell about Rusal, the only outside investor in the plant. But, the website reported, McConnell’s connection to the Rusal-Braidy deal is deeper than previously understood. While Rusal was lobbying the Trump administration to remove sanctions, the Kentucky Republican was pushing for federal funds to be used to help build the Braidy plant near Ashland, back in his home state. The federal government has been giving Appalachian states millions of dollars since 2016 to help clean up abandoned coal mining land, and to assist in economic development there. But McConnell and other Kentucky lawmakers, including Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), helped steer $4 million away from sewer and road repair in October 2018 to preparing for construction on the aluminum plant.

McConnell Said No to Money for Miners, Yes to Russian-Backed Plant

The Senate majority leader worked to keep money out of Kentucky coal miners’ hands—even as he maneuvered to steer federal cash to an aluminum plant connected to a Putin ally.
By Erin Banco

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last month blocked a measure that would have used Treasury Department funds marked for Appalachian development to help pay for coal miners’ health care and pensions in his home state of Kentucky. But just a few months earlier, McConnell successfully steered near-identical Treasury funds for Appalachia to bankroll a Kentucky aluminum plant connected to an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Democrats on Capitol Hill have raised concerns for months about McConnell’s connection to the aluminum plant.

It’s one of several reasons why McConnell’s political opponents have tried to stick him with the nickname “Moscow Mitch.” But what’s gone largely unnoticed as the sobriquet has become a social media trending topic is how McConnell worked to keep money out of coal miners’ hands—even as he maneuvered to steer federal funds to the Russian-linked plant. The scrutiny started in January, when McConnell voted to lift sanctions on Rusal, a Russian aluminum company formerly headed by Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, despite several of his Republican colleagues defecting and voting no. Rusal’s de-listing caused an uproar among Democrats on Capitol Hill who viewed the deal the Treasury Department put together with Rusal as too lenient.

Then, in April, the focus turned to McConnell. Just days after the Treasury Department announced the official de-listing of Rusal, the company announced a $200 million investment in the Braidy Industries aluminum plant in the northeastern part of Kentucky. Democrats raised questions about how much McConnell knew about Rusal’s investment plan before he voted for sanctions relief. Rusal is the only outside investor in the plant. In a statement to The Daily Beast, a Braidy Industries spokesperson said the company has never lobbied members of Congress on sanctions issues and began working with law firm Akin Gump in May 2019 for “general government relations representation.” The spokesperson also said no employee or director of the company has ever spoken to McConnell about Rusal. But McConnell’s connection to the Rusal-Braidy aluminum plant is deeper than previously understood. At the same time Rusal was lobbying the Trump administration to get off the U.S. sanctions list, McConnell was advocating for federal funds to be diverted to help with construction of the Braidy plant in Kentucky.

Report: Kentucky aluminum plant benefited from McConnell-backed effort to lift Russian sanctions

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is denying that he knew a project in his home state would benefit from the U.S. ending sanctions against a Russian oligarch. In January, nearly a dozen Republicans broke away from McConnell and joined Democrats in voting to block the Trump administration from lifting sanctions on companies owned by Oleg Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They didn't reach the 60 votes necessary to advance the resolution, and a few weeks later, the government lifted the sanctions against Deripaska and Rusal, Russia's largest aluminum producer. Three months after that, The Washington Post reports, Rusal announced it was partnering with Braidy Industries on an aluminum-rolling mill in Ashland, Kentucky, with Rusal supplying $200 million in capital for a 40 percent stake in the plant. The night before the Senate voted on lifting sanctions, Braidy Industries' founder, Craig Bouchard, had dinner in Zurich with Rusal's head of sales. Bouchard told the Post they did not discuss the Senate vote, and Braidy Industries did not tell any government officials that lifting sanctions would be beneficial. Rusal's parent company, EN+, told the Post the Kentucky project had nothing to do with its aggressive lobbying to get sanctions dropped, and McConnell's spokesman, David Popp, said McConnell "was not aware of any potential Russian investor before the vote."

McConnell blocks two election security bills

By Jordain Carney

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked two election security measures on Thursday, arguing Democrats are trying to give themselves a "political benefit." The move comes a day after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned about election meddling in 2020, saying Russia was laying the groundwork to interfere in the 2020 election "as we sit here." Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) had tried to get consent Thursday to pass a House bill that requires the use of paper ballots and includes funding for the Election Assistance Commission. It passed the House 225-184 with one Republican voting for it. But McConnell objected, saying Schumer was trying to pass “partisan legislation.” “Clearly this request is not a serious effort to make a law. Clearly something so partisan that it only received one single solitary Republican vote in the House is not going to travel through the Senate by unanimous consent,” McConnell said. Under the Senate’s rules any one senator can request consent to pass a bill, but any one senator can object. Schumer argued that if McConnell didn’t like that bill “let’s put another bill on the floor and debate it.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also asked for consent to pass legislation that would require candidates, campaign officials and their family members to notify the FBI of assistance offers from foreign governments. McConnell also objected to that bill. In his testimony before Congress on Wednesday, Mueller warned about continued Russian interference in U.S. elections.

Whoopi slams Mitch McConnell for obstructing Barack Obama: "You should pay reparations for that"

Goldberg shames McConnell for claiming the sins of slavery were repaid by the election of the first black president
By Travis Gettys

Whoopi Goldberg shamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for claiming the sins of slavery had been repaid with the election of President Barack Obama. McConnell disagreed with reparations for slavery, lynching, discrimination and other racist institutions, saying the Civil War and Obama’s election should be enough — and “The View” host called out his hypocrisy. “You know, Mitch, you said that you would make him a one-term president,” Goldberg said, “and you did everything you could to not help him in the first four years. Maybe you should pay reparations for that.” Goldberg argued that black work and wealth had been stolen for centuries, and she said racism was much bigger than anything President Donald Trump — whose name she never says — and the Republican Party had done. “It’s not them,” she said. “This is much bigger than Trump.”

Mitch McConnell Goes Nuclear, Again

by Martin Longman

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved toward using the nuclear option reluctantly, haltingly, and with baby steps that provided plenty of warning. After Barack Obama was elected president but before he was sworn in in January 2009, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell adopted a strategy of total obstruction, declaring his number one priority to be making sure Obama was a one-term president. Throughout 2009 and 2010, McConnell used every available parliamentary trick to slow down the legislative agenda and the confirmation of Obama’s nominees. He was particularly aggressive on nominees for the federal courts. After the shellacking the Democrats took in the 2010 midterms, their majority in the Senate was markedly reduced and McConnell’s ability to obstruct was correspondingly enhanced. In response, in 2011, Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Tom Udall of New Mexico began advocating that Reid use the nuclear option (which they called “the constitutional option”) in order to enact reforms to the filibuster rules. Although Reid opposed their plans, by October 2011, the pressure had grown substantial enough that Reid pushed through a rule change with 51-48 vote. The impact of the change was modest because it only eliminated a post-cloture delaying motion and it only applied to the 2013-14 Congress, but he had changed the rules without a supermajority, thereby technically invoking the nuclear option. In context, however, he had gone nuclear in order to avoid going nuclear. After President Obama disappointed McConnell by winning reelection in 2012, the Democrats began signaling that they would invoke the nuclear option in January 2013. The threat was credible enough to send many Republican senators scurrying into negotiation mode. In bipartisan votes of 78 to 16 and 86 to 9, the Senate rules were changed to curtail “the minority party’s right to filibuster a bill as long as each party has been permitted to present at least two amendments to the bill.” Reid acknowledged that the reforms didn’t go as far as many wanted them to, but tried to sound optimistic, “It is my hope that these reforms will help restore a spirit of comity and bipartisan cooperation.”


Biden: McConnell Refused To Sign Bipartisan Statement On Russian Interference

by Scott Neuman

Former Vice President Joe Biden says he and President Barack Obama decided not to speak out publicly on Russian interference during the 2016 campaign after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to sign a bipartisan statement condemning the Kremlin's role. Speaking on Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden said the Obama administration sought a united front to dispel concerns that going public with such accusations would be seen as an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the election. However, McConnell "wanted no part of having a bipartisan commitment saying, essentially, 'Russia's doing this. Stop,' " he said. At that point, Biden added, he felt that "the die had been cast" and that "this was all about the political play." "Can you imagine if the president called a press conference in October, with this fella, Bannon, and company, and said, 'Tell you what: Russians are trying to interfere in our elections and we have to do something about it,' " he said. "Would things have gotten better, or would it further look like we were trying to de-legitimize the electoral process, because of our opponent?" "Had we known what we knew three weeks later, we may have done something more," Biden added. McConnell's office disputed Biden's account, as reported by Politico, "pointing to a letter signed by all four congressional leaders in September 2016 and sent to the president of the National Association of State Election Directors, urging cybersecurity precautions in light of reports of attempted hacking." "That missive, however, did not address Russia specifically, or the larger topic of influence beyond voting systems," Politico writes. The former vice president's account echoes reporting that first appeared in The Washington Post in June describing a meeting that occurred the same month between Obama's Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, then-FBI Director James Comey, Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and 12 key members of Congress. In the meeting, the Post reports:

Mitch McConnell’s stunning hypocrisy is no accident: it’s all part of the plan


There is no low to which the senate majority leader won’t stoop in pursuit of his right-wing takeover of the American judiciary.
What a difference two years makes. In 2016, the Republican senate majority leader Mitch McConnell was all about letting the voice of the American people be heard, before the Senate would dream of making so important a decision as nominating a judge to the US Supreme Court. When Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia died in May 2016, six months before the election, McConnell made it clear that allowing Obama to nominate a successor, as was his constitutional right as president, was a total non-starter.

His party refused even to give the eminently qualified judge Obama nominated, Merrick Garland, a hearing; the seat was eventually filled by Donald Trump, whose nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate last year. In 2016, McConnell boasted to a crowd in his home state: “One of my proudest moments was when I looked at Barack Obama in the eye and I said, ‘Mr President, you will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy’.” In the Senate chamber on Monday appeared a completely different McConnell. Now, it was the Democrats who were the ones being obstructionist. “They’re committed to delaying, obstructing, and resisting this nomination with everything they’ve got,” he said. “They just want to delay this matter past the election.” Word for word, it was an exact description of McConnell’s own behaviour with regard to all of Obama’s judicial nominees, including his last Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland. The FBI is currently investigating allegations of sexual assault against Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, at the request of the White House, an investigation which came after Republican senator Jeff Flake, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, made it a condition of his vote to move Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor.

#MassacreMitch Trends As People Blame Mitch McConnell Blocking Gun Control Legislation for Mass Shootings: 'You Are Owned by the NRA'

By Ewan Palmer

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is receiving criticism in the wake of two mass shootings within less than 24 hours over his apparent failure to help impose stricter gun control laws. More than 120,000 tweets have been sent using the #MassacreMitch hashtag after at least 20 people were killed at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and a further nine people killed in a shooting around 13 hours later in Dayton, Ohio. Many Twitter users expressed their anger towards McConnell for blocking a Senate vote on a bill passed by the House of Representatives in February which would require full background checks to be run against every person who wishes to purchase a gun. Others also accused McConnell of costing people's lives by pandering to the NRA due to the donations he and the Republican party receive from the lobbying group. It is the second time in a matter of days that a McConnell-related hashtag has trended on Twitter. Tens of thousands of people used the "Moscow Mitch" hashtag after the Kentucky senator blocked a set of election security bills.  

Mitch McConnell should explain why he obscured Russian interference in our election


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should explain why he blocked a bipartisan denunciation of Russian interference in our election before voters went to the polls.Americans deserve to hear why McConnell did not trust them with the evidence that he and 11 other congressional leaders received in a confidential briefing in September. The Washington Post reports that during that briefing McConnell “made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.” McConnell also questioned the veracity of the intelligence, according to the Post, based on information from unidentified officials present at the September briefing.

On Monday, McConnell said he had the “highest confidence” in U.S. intelligence agencies. But McConnell would not answer reporters’ questions about the Post’s account. He passed up the opportunity to deny that he torpedoed the administration’s request for a bipartisan pre-election statement calling out the Russians. Now McConnell and other Republicans are saying the integrity of our elections is too important for partisanship. But before the election McConnell appears to have put partisan concerns first. It’s impossible to say whether the outcome would have changed if Republicans and Democrats in Congress had united to publicly rebuke Russia. There was plenty of information out about Russians hacking the Democratic National Committee and a couple of state election offices. The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued an election security statement on Oct. 7 urging “state and local election officials to be vigilant and seek cybersecurity assistance from DHS.” It also was clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin preferred Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, whom he blamed for public protests against him in Russia. Trump probably would have won and the Republicans probably would have held the Senate even if Congress had denounced Russia before the election. Now McConnell’s pre-election move to obscure Russian interference will weaken Trump’s standing as president, an office he won by the thinnest of margins. McConnell’s action, which if anything helped Trump, also clouds Trump’s nomination of Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, as transportation secretary.

Politico: On 2016 Russian interference and what Obama tried to do

By Eric Black

MinnPost readers are smart and well-informed and I often benefit from reading the comment threads under my posts. This morning’s post mocked a certain current POTUS about a recent attack by the Trump political operation blaming former President Barack Obama for allowing the Russians to influence the 2016 election in favor of well – that same current POTUS. This is not a joke. See the Black Ink post of this morning, I had forgotten the details about whether and why Obama might have done such a thing. But in reading the comments just now, I got a reminder, which I’m hereby passing along for the benefit of those who may not read the discussion threads. President Obama had intelligence indicating that Russia was using various efforts to help Donald Trump win. He wanted to make it public, but was concerned that, as a Democrat himself but also the POTUS and the most important recipient of such intelligence, it would look partisan and unseemly to make the intelligence finding public unless he had backing to do so from congressional leaders of both parties.

GOP leader's top goal: Make Obama 1-term president


WASHINGTON — The Senate's Republican leader has a simple postelection message for President Barack Obama: Move toward the GOP or get no help from its lawmakers. Two days after Republicans scored big victories in congressional elections, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday offered an aggressive assessment of the results, calling for votes to erode the reach of the health care law that was a signature of the Obama administration. "That means that we can — and should — propose and vote on straight repeal, repeatedly," McConnell said. McConnell's remarks, in a speech delivered to the conservative Heritage Foundation, acknowledged that Obama would veto such legislation, which probably would be blocked by the president's fellow Democrats in the Senate anyway. He said the only way Republicans in Congress can achieve their goals is "to put someone in the White House who won't veto" a repeal of Obama's health care reform, spending cuts and shrinking the government. More realistically, McConnell said Republicans, who will hold a majority in next year's House of Representatives, should aim to hobble the healthcare law by "denying funds for implementation" of the measure. Annual spending bills for agencies, including ones that implement the healthcare law, are normally written first in the House. McConnell said the results of the midterms were not about Republicans but instead about Democrats, who he said got an "F." He said he expects Democrats will begin peeling off of their base to start supporting GOP initiatives.

The GOP's no-compromise pledge

By ANDY BARR

If Republicans take the House as anticipated on election night, voters can expect to hear the customary talk about coming together with Democrats for the good of the country. President Barack Obama inevitably will extend a hand across the aisle as well.  But that’s Tuesday. Right now, the tone is a lot different — with Republicans pledging to embrace an agenda for the next two years that sounds a lot like their agenda for the past two: Block Obama at all costs. And even Obama’s pre-election appeals to cooperation are wrapped in an I’m-still-the-president tone that suggests that Americans will be looking at two opposing camps glaring at each other across the barricades — gridlock all around. Here’s John Boehner, the likely speaker if Republicans take the House, offering his plans for Obama’s agenda: “We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up his plan to National Journal: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Obama frequently reminds voters he believes all the delay in Washington this year is the Republicans’ fault. “So I hope that my friends on the other side of the aisle are going to change their minds going forward, because putting the American people back to work, boosting our small businesses, rebuilding the economic security of the middle class, these are big national challenges. And we’ve all got a stake in solving them. And it’s not going to be enough just to play politics. You can’t just focus on the next election. You’ve got to focus on the next generation,” Obama said a recent event in Rhode Island.

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