What did Mitch McConnell know about Bolton bombshell — and when did he know it?

What did Mitch McConnell know about Bolton bombshell — and when did he know it?
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Senate Republicans are reportedly feeling "blindsided" by the revelation from John Bolton's upcoming book that Donald Trump personally told the former national security adviser that he was withholding aid to Ukraine until he got his investigations into Democrats and the Bidens. They want to know who in the White House knew about this and why it was withheld from them, they say. They should be looking closer to home, at their majority leader, Mitch McConnell, if indeed this news came as a total shock to them.

Bolton's lawyer said he provided the manuscript of his book to the White House on Dec. 30. That's two weeks after McConnell promised Sean Hannity on Fox News, "Everything I do during this, I'm coordinating with White House Counsel. There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this." Just a few days after that interview, McConnell told reporters, "I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There's not anything judicial about it. […] I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I'm not impartial about this at all." He also said that it was the House's "duty to investigate" and not the Senate's, and that "we certainly do not need 'jurors' to start brainstorming witness lists for the prosecution."

There is no way that McConnell didn't know what the White House was sitting on with the Bolton manuscript. There is no way that McConnell wasn't acting with the White House to keep this information from his Republican senators. If in fact he did keep it under wraps. If they're blindsided by anything, it's because they thought the White House had done a better job at shutting Bolton up.


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