Senate Minority Leader (gonna take some time to get used to that one) Mitch McConnell has sent waves of outrage through the Republican Party with his denouncement of Donald Trump, and nowhere is the betrayal more acutely felt than back in his home district. Leaders with the Nelson County GOP convened an emergency meeting this week, where they resolved to censure McConnell for his speech blaming Trump for the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
On Monday, McConnell broke hard with the outgoing president, arguing that what had happened at the Capitol on January 6th would not have transpired without Trump’s incitement.
“The mob was fed lies,” he said on the Senate floor. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
McConnell then promised a safe and peaceful transfer of power.
“We’ll move forward. Our work for the American people will continue, as it has for more than 230 years,” he said. “Americans elected a closely divided senate, a closely divided house and a presidential candidate who said he’d represent everyone.”
McConnell’s remarks may have impressed Democrats and those in the media, but they were rebuked by Republicans from Louisville.
“This has shown his true colors,” Nelson Co. GOP Chairman Don Thrasher said. “We felt today during his floor speech on the senate where he impugned the character of President Trump was unacceptable to us. His whole behavior overall through this whole process of the last week is not consistent with what he promised us when he was running for re-election.”
McConnell has declined to say how he will vote in Trump’s second impeachment trial, but he indicated that it is a “vote of conscience” that will depend on the facts as they are presented.
His backers in Kentucky, however, aren’t waiting for the other shoe to drop. They included in their resolution a demand for McConnell to acquit Trump.
“We’re basically calling for Senator McConnell to support President Trump and denounce the second impeachment as divisive,” Thrasher said. “I have at least 50 other chairs and vice chairs that have signed on for our resolution. This is a deal-breaker for a lot of Republicans.”
Kentucky Republicans are hardly alone in their newfound antipathy for McConnell; on his program Tuesday night, Fox News host Sean Hannity advised the GOP leader to step aside.
“We need new leadership in the U.S. Senate. You can represent the people of Kentucky. You’re showing basically right now that you are the king of the establishment Republicans that frankly have always had, and remain having, contempt for President Trump, but more importantly, the 75 million Americans that voted for him,” Hannity said.