ABC News’s Jonathan Karl reported in his new book, Betrayal, that McConnell was so concerned that Trump might threaten to disrupt the transfer of power to Biden after the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising that he sought to remove Trump from the inauguration guest list.
“McConnell felt he could not give Trump another opportunity to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” Karl wrote, according to an excerpt from the book. “McConnell wanted to get a letter together from the top four congressional leaders informing Trump that he had been disinvited.”
The letter—allegedly signed by McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. —was never sent, Karl noted.
Karl also claimed Trump caught wind of McConnell’s plan from McCarthy and decided pre-emptively to decline his invitation to the ceremony before he could be disinvited.
“Trump apparently wanted people to think it was his decision alone to become the first outgoing president after an election to fail to attend an inauguration since Andrew Johnson skipped the inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant in 1869,” Karl wrote.
Trump responded to the report by dismissing Karl as a “third-rate reporter.”
“From Election Day, November 3rd, the day I realized that the 2020 Presidential Election was rigged, I would never have agreed to go to Joe Biden’s Inauguration. This decision was mine, and mine alone,” Trump said in a statement.
“The old broken-down Crow, Mitch McConnell, had nothing to do with it,” he continued. “The Election was rigged, the facts are clear, and Mitch McConnell did nothing. He was probably too busy working on deals with China for his wife and family!”