Mitch McConnell left hanging when Trump-backing Josh Hawley pulls a fast one

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Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley reportedly pulled a fast one on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by skipping a conference call in which McConnell’s intent had apparently been to lecture him about challenging the 2020 election results.

According to Alex Isenstadt of Politico, during the Thursday conference call McConnell was left hanging when he brought up Hawley by name and began pressing him “to explain his plans to object to the Electoral College.”

In response, Hawley said nothing because — as McConnell would soon realize, much to his presumed embarrassment — the Missouri senator had skipped the call.

Whoops.

View Isenstadt’s report below:

The realization that Hawley wasn’t there came slowly.

“As they awaited a response from the absent Hawley, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Todd Young (Ind.) remarked, ‘Surely Josh Hawley is having technological issues because he would want to speak on such an important matter,'” Politico notes.

“Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey pushed back on Hawley during the conversation, delivering what one person briefed on the remarks described as a forceful denunciation. The Missouri senator has focused his objections on Pennsylvania, arguing that it and other states failed to adhere to their own election laws.”

A spokesperson for Toomey later confirmed to Politico that he had indeed effectively denounced Hawley and his plan to challenge the 2020 election results: “Sen. Toomey made his views on Senator Hawley’s planned objection clear. He strongly disagrees.”

Once the Republicans on the call realized that the senator wasn’t there — it was reportedly an “all-member event,” as reported by CNN — they “expressed annoyance,” according to Politico, and slammed him for avoiding questions on his decision.

“Pissed,” was reportedly the adjective one GOP senator used to describe the conference call to CNN.

However, immediately following the call, Hawley sent an email to his colleagues addressing the Senate majority leader’s concerns. As to why he’d skipped the call, he wrote only that “I was unable to join this morning’s call.”

“If you’ve been speaking to folks at home, I’m sure you know how deeply angry and disillusioned many, many people are – and how frustrated that Congress has taken no action. … I strongly believe there should be a full-fledged congressional investigation and also a slate of election integrity legislation,” the email continued.

“I intend to object during the certification process on January 6 in order to force these issues to the fore, and to point out the unprecedented failure of states like Pennsylvania to follow their own election laws and the unprecedented efforts of Big Tech corporations to interfere with the election.”

He concluded the email by pointing out that Democrats have also in times past challenged the results of an election.

“[O]ur Democrat colleagues have used the certification process in recent years to raise issues of election integrity. I strongly believe it is entirely appropriate for those of us concerned about the integrity of this last election to do the same,” he wrote.

Indeed, after the 2016 presidential election, Sen. Maxine Waters and several House Democrats challenged President Donald Trump’s victory — though ironically, then-Vice President Joe Biden quickly swatted down the attempt.

Watch:

“Waters and other House Democrats from at least 10 states objected to the votes, raising issues of voter suppression as well as American intelligence showing that Russia tried to influence the election in favor of Trump,” Los Angeles station KCBS reported at the time.

Though the effort obviously failed, claims that “Russia tried to influence the election in favor of Trump” went on to haunt the president’s administration for years.

Regardless, the argument by Hawley and others intent on challenging now-Democrat nominee Biden’s ostensible victory in the 2020 election is that fair is fair. McConnell clearly hasn’t bought into this argument, choosing instead to toe the establishment line.

During the conference call Thursday, the Senate leader reportedly described his plan to approve Biden’s ostensible victory on Jan. 6th “a vote of conscience” and essentially suggested that the president is trying to steal the election.

“I’m finishing 36 years in the Senate and I’ve cast a lot of big votes. … And in my view, just my view, this is will be the most consequential I have ever cast,” he reportedly said, as paraphrased to Axios by three sources.

The source added, “The context was McConnell saying we’re being asked to overturn the results after a guy didn’t get as many electoral votes and lost by 7 million popular votes.”

In other words, the “context” was that McConnell believes it’s Trump — not Biden — who’s trying to cheat. Yet a Quinnipiac poll published around the start of the month found that 77 percent of Republicans believe the election was tainted by the very sort of fraud that the president and his allies, including Hawley, have sought to highlight.

A Fox News poll conducted around the same time likewise found that 68 percent of Republicans believe the election was stolen from Trump.

According to multiple reports, at least 140 House Republicans are expected to challenge the results of the election on Jan. 6th.

Vivek Saxena

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