How Mitch McConnell and Tom Cotton 'maneuvered behind the scenes' to undermine Trump’s election fraud lies: author

How Mitch McConnell and Tom Cotton 'maneuvered behind the scenes' to undermine Trump’s election fraud lies: author
Tom Cotton, photo via Michael Vadon. Sen. Mitch McConnell, photo via Gage Skidmore.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't go out of his way to criticize former President Donald Trump. But the tension between McConnell and Trump is obvious. And journalist David M. Drucker, in his new book "In Trump's Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP," examines the ways in which, behind the scenes, McConnell and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas tried to undermine Trump's false claims of voter fraud following the 2020 election.

In an excerpt from the book published by Vanity Fair on October 11, Drucker explains, "On Sunday, January 3, 2021, at 10:09 p.m., a political hand grenade exploded in my inbox. In a carefully crafted 327-word statement, Tom Cotton announced that he would support the certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory when Congress met in joint session on Wednesday, January 6. The senator would vote against any objections. Trump, in a last-ditch attempt to overturn the 2020 election, had issued a clarion call for Republicans to object to state-certified electoral votes from six swing states that had voted narrowly for Biden, delivering him the presidency."

Following the 2020 election, Drucker notes, Trump "ratcheted up conspiratorial claims that the election would be stolen." Some Republicans in Congress were more than happy to go along with Trump and promote the Big Lie, including Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri. But according to Drucker, McConnell and Cotton had other ideas.

"It was a fantastical sundae, cooked up by Trump's calamitous legal team and served up by the president to the rank-and-file voters who backed him," Drucker recalls. "The cherry on top was Trump's assertion that Congress and Vice President Mike Pence were empowered by the Constitution to sidestep the Electoral College and install the losing candidate as president. In the midst of all this, Cotton, in league with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, was maneuvering behind the scenes to derail the outgoing president's effort to remain in office, and marginalize those Republicans who were abetting him."

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