McConnell: Impeachment 'diverted' attention from coronavirus concerns




 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday suggested that the January Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump distracted from crucial early efforts to respond to the emerging coronavirus pandemic.

During an appearance on conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt's radio show, McConnell was asked about a POLITICO article published Monday that pointed to Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., as one of the first people on Capitol Hill to sound warnings on coronavirus. The article quoted Cotton as blaming impeachment for diverting the government's focus away from the threats.

When asked about Cotton's early warnings, McConnell said: "It came up while we were tied down on the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything every day was all about impeachment."

McConnell also praised his Senate colleagues from pivoting "from the most partisan thing you could possibly be involved in, the impeachment of a president, to a unanimous vote on a $2 trillion dollar package all within a couple of months."

McConnell also said he would look at any future coronavirus response bill produced by the House majority "like Reagan suggested we look at the Russians - trust, but verify."

"I'm not going to allow this to be an opportunity for the Democrats to achieve unrelated policy items that they would not otherwise be able to pass," McConnell said.

The Senate leader also accused Democrats of wanting to "turn the President's handling of all this into a political liability for him."

"Goodness, I wish we could all just turn this off, you know, until we get to a period where we've bent the curve and are beginning to get back to normal," McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., responded to McConnell in a tweet posted later Tuesday.

"You may have been distracted by impeachment from acting to fight coronavirus, but not everyone was," Schumer tweeted. "I called for President Trump to declare a public health emergency to fight coronavirus on January 26!"

According to an NBC News tracker, the first major federal move to stem the spread of the virus came on January 31, when the White House announced a travel ban on all foreigners who had been to China in the previous 14 days. The impeachment trial ended just five days later when the Senate voted to acquit Trump on Feb. 5.

But Trump continued to downplay the threat of coronavirus, claiming the pandemic was "very well under control in our country." Even as recently as March 9, Trump tweeted, "Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on."

It wasn't until the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global pandemic on March 11 before the Trump administration's public statements around COVID-19 began to shift.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Inside the Dizzying Effort to Pitch Trump to Black Voters
Inside the Dizzying Effort to Pitch Trump to Black Voters

WASHINGTON -- Nearly every week this spring, President Donald Trump's reelection team has held one of the most peculiar events of the 2020 online campaign: "Black Voices for Trump Real Talk." It is a dizzying effort by Trump's black advisers to put their spin on his record -- often with a hall-of-mirrors quality, as they push false claims about opponents while boosting a president who retweets racist material.The most recent session, on Saturday night, was one of the most head-spinning yet. For an hour on a livestream, three black Republicans tried to portray former Vice President Joe Biden as a racist, while ignoring decades of racially divisive behavior by Trump, from his remarks on the...

Trump warns he may move Republican convention site from NC
Trump warns he may move Republican convention site from NC
  • US
  • 2020-05-25 13:39:18Z

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Monday that he may move the Republican National Convention from North Carolina set for August if the event faces state social distancing restrictions as a result of the coronavirus. The coronavirus pandemic has forced Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to halt campaign rallies. Trump said on Twitter that if Democratic Governor Roy Cooper does not immediately answer "whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied," then the party will find "with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site."

Trump Tweets and Golfs, but Makes No Mention of Virus
Trump Tweets and Golfs, but Makes No Mention of Virus's Toll

WASHINGTON -- As President Donald Trump's motorcade pulled into his golf club in Virginia on an overcast Sunday, a small group of protesters waited outside the entrance. One held up a sign."I care do U?" it read. "100,000 dead."Trump and his advisers have said that he does, but he has made scant effort to demonstrate it this Memorial Day weekend. He finally ordered flags lowered to half-staff at the White House only after being badgered to do so by his critics and otherwise took no public notice as the American death toll from the coronavirus pandemic approached a staggering 100,000.While the country neared six digits of death, the president who repeatedly criticized his predecessor for...

Trump Flips Out After Biden Ad Rips Him For Golfing Amid Growing Death Toll
Trump Flips Out After Biden Ad Rips Him For Golfing Amid Growing Death Toll

Trump golfed twice over the weekend as the coronavirus death toll in the United States approached 100,000.

Trump Sows Doubt on Voting. It Keeps Some People Up at Night.
Trump Sows Doubt on Voting. It Keeps Some People Up at Night.

WASHINGTON -- In October, President Donald Trump declares a state of emergency in major cities in battleground states, like Milwaukee and Detroit, banning polling places from opening.A week before the election, Attorney General William Barr announces a criminal investigation into the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.After Biden wins a narrow Electoral College victory, Trump refuses to accept the results, won't leave the White House and declines to allow the Biden transition team customary access to agencies before the Jan. 20 inauguration.Far-fetched conspiracy theories? Not to a group of worst-case scenario planners -- mostly Democrats, but some anti-Trump Republicans as well...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Europe