A dozen awful things Moscow Mitch McConnell has done

Moscow Mitch doesn't want witnesses at the Senate trial because that will likely mean conviction

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done a lot of awful things, from ramming through Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to blocking witnesses at President Trump’s impeachment trial.

But few people know about McConnell’s actions early in his career, the ugly incidents that prove that he is, and always has been, the perfect partner for a man like Donald Trump.

The incidents below, gleaned from Jane Mayer in the current New Yorker, include accusations of infidelity and sexual harassment, excuses to get out of military service, and campaign promises that were broken before their echoes had faded away — in short, the actions of a man who was born to be Donald Trump’s chief enabler.

Young McConnell sucked up to jocks to get a student council spot

Screenshot / YouTube

McConnell’s ambition and cynicism were both on display when he decided to run for student council. Mayer reports:

When McConnell tells the story of his first campaign—for student-council president—what leaps out is that he seemed far more interested in winning the title than in doing anything with it.

McConnell told his mother he had no friends, but she encouraged him to run. His strategy, which he openly admits, was to heap flattery and praise on the influential jocks and cheerleaders. And so, the roots of McConnell’s sycophantic behavior were established.

McConnell joined the military—and then Daddy pulled strings to get him out

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McConnell joined the Army Reserve in 1967 because he knew it would improve his political opportunities.

However, after just five weeks, his father contacted one of Kentucky’s senators to say that McConnell needed out because he was going to enroll at New York University, according to Mayer.

McConnell then received a medical discharge for an eye condition but never enrolled at NYU.

Breaking campaign promises was a McConnell tactic as far back as his first race

Falsely accusing an opponent of drug abuse and 11 other awful things you may not know Mitch McConnell has done 1

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When McConnell ran for his first county office, he vowed he would limit spending, told unions he would support their bargaining rights, and gave pro-choice voters the impression that he was “on their side.”

He kept none of those promises. Instead, he spent a record amount, did nothing to support union workers, and opposed a woman’s right to choose.

It started a pattern that would define his later years, he lied to obtain power.

McConnell touted family values, then got divorced amid adultery allegations

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In that first election, McConnell made an issue of his opponent’s divorce, but his own marriage was far from ideal. Mayer writes:

Three years after defeating [his opponent], though, McConnell, amid accusations of infidelity, got divorced himself.

After McConnell’s divorce from Sherrill Redmon, the future Senate Majority Leader vowed to a friend that he would “marry  a rich woman.” That’s one promise he kept. His marriage to Elaine Chao, whose family owns a shipping business, has made McConnell one of the wealthiest members of the Senate.

Allegation: McConnell sexually harassed a subordinate

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Two sources told Mayer that McConnell made sexual advances to a female employee in his county office.

While McConnell’s spokesperson denied the allegation, one source said, “It’s the God’s honest truth.”

McConnell pressured staffers to donate an organ to make him look good

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Staff turnover was high in McConnell’s county office, and one staffer called him “extraordinarily selfish.”

It couldn’t have helped morale when McConnell, then chair of a National Kidney Foundation fund-raising drive, pressured staffers to donate their kidneys.

McConnell supplemented county pay with business donations

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McConnell’s county office didn’t pay much, and he hadn’t yet married Elaine Chao, so he supplemented his income by taking money from anonymous local business leaders.

Supposedly, the money was for McConnell to give speeches, but the practice was so sleazy that it led his special assistant to quit. The aide said McConnell was “the shallowest person in politics” he’d ever encountered.

McConnell used deceptive ad created by Roger Ailes to win Senate Seat

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For McConnell’s first Senate campaign, future Fox News president Roger Ailes created an ad depicting “a pack of bloodhounds frantically hunting for [his opponent], ostensibly because he’d missed so many Senate votes while off giving paid speeches.” His opponent’s attendance record was 94%, but the ad worked and McConnell, in an upset, won the seat.

As Mayer notes, Ailes wasn’t the only seedy character involved in McConnell’s first Senate campaign. In creating the ad:

“Ailes was helped by Larry McCarthy, a virtuoso of negative campaign ads who later made the racially charged Willie Horton ad, attacking the 1988 Democratic candidate for President, Michael Dukakis.

More Lies: McConnell’s second Senate campaign falsely portrayed his opponent as a drug abuser


In 1990, long before McConnell became Trump’s enabler, he continued the pattern of distorting the truth to advance his own agenda.

McConnell’s ad, again produced by Ailes, falsely portrayed his opponent as a drug addict. The truth was that his opponent, a doctor, had made an innocent mistake with a prescription for sleeping pills. Despite Ailes’ lurid video of bottles of “mood-altering” drugs, the opponent did not have a drug problem.

Nevertheless, the ad helped McConnell to another win.

McConnell and Chao derailed investigation into Kentuckians’ toxic water

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Decades ago, McConnell and Chao, then the U.S. Labor Secretary, derailed an investigation of Massey Energy, which had released 200 million gallons of coal waste and contaminated the water supply of tens of thousands of residents.

Today, twenty years later, the water in Martin County is still contaminated. One resident recently told Mayer he’d gone three weeks with the water shut-off, forcing him to get a buck of water from a creek to pour into his toilet so it would flush.

McConnell in 2017 “personally introduced” amendment that blocked infectious disease funds

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Screenshot / CDC

Many critics have rightly ascribed much of the blame for the spread of coronavirus to Trump’s refusal to take needed actions in early 2020. But Mayer reports that it McConnell played a central role in defunding a CDC program designed to combat pandemics:

In 2017, McConnell…personally introduced a little-noticed amendment to eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provided grants to states for detecting and responding to infectious-disease outbreaks, among other things.

In response, a coalition of hundreds of health organizations wrote McConnell and other congressional leaders, warning of “dire consequences.” However, McConnell ignored the experts’ pleas, cutting the funding so he could deliver a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.

McConnell appears to be eagerly awaiting the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Flickr / European University Institute

Perhaps the most jaw-dropping allegation in Mayer’s piece is McConnell’s ghoulish perspective on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A former Trump administration official told Mayer:

“McConnell’s telling our donors that when R.B.G. meets her reward, even if it’s October, we’re getting our judge. He’s saying it’s our October Surprise.”

It’s bad enough that this contradicts McConnell’s 2016 claim that Obama nominee Merrick Garland shouldn’t get a confirmation vote during an election year. But McConnell went further. He shared with donors that he was anticipating the death of a Supreme Court justice and promised to confirm a nominee as late as October.

McConnell’s abject cynicism and ambition, on full display in his comments about R.B.G, make it clear why he is a willing partner in every tawdry act of corruption that defines Donald Trump’s presidency.

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