McConnell sidesteps question on Jan. 6 call from Trump

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday sidestepped a question about reports that he declined a call from then-President Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, emphasizing that the last time he spoke to the former president was in December 2020.

“I’ve said repeatedly the last time I spoke to the president was the day after the Electoral College declared President Biden the winner. I publicly congratulated President Biden on his victory and received a phone call after that from President Trump, and that’s the last time we’ve spoken,” McConnell said when asked why he did not take Trump’s calls the day of the Capitol riot.

Pressed on if he tried to call Trump back that day, McConnell said, “I just answered your question.”

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Trump called McConnell on Jan. 6, citing internal White House records. A McConnell aide told the newspaper that the minority leader declined the then-president’s call.

The Post also reported that Trump’s phone logs, turned over to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, have a gap of seven hours and 37 minutes around the time when the deadly riot was occurring.

Trump has attacked McConnell a number of times since the minority leader acknowledged Biden as the legitimate winner of the 2020 election and rejected the former president’s claims that fraud influenced his loss.

One of the latest spars between the two came after the Republican National Committee censured GOP Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) for their criticism of Trump and involvement in the panel probing the January riot. The censure resolution characterized the Capitol attack as “ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse,” which drew bipartisan criticism.

McConnell, in response, called the riot a “violent insurrection with the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election.” Trump shot back, writing in a statement that “Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party, and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters.”

Tags Adam Kinzinger Donald Trump House Select Committee on Jan. 6 Jan. 6 Capitol attack Joe Biden Liz Cheney Mitch McConnell

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