How Mitch McConnell Really Felt About Donald Trump's Election Loss, According To This Book

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To hear Donald Trump tell it, his failed bid at a second presidential term was not only an egregious injustice, but also a great shock and loss to the American people who adored him. Not everyone feels that way, however — not even members of his own party. 

Bob Woodward, the award-winning journalist and co-author (with Carl Bernstein) of "All the President's Men," is about to drop his third in a trilogy of explosive books about the Trump presidency. "Peril," written with co-author Robert Costa, focuses on the final months of 2020 and the turbulent beginning of President Biden's term in office. It features material gathered from more than 200 insiders, plus key information from emails, phone calls, and other sensitive documents (via Amazon). Among the many revelations awaiting readers is that Senator Mitch McConnell, who was the House Majority Leader during the Trump administration, "was the least surprised" by Trump's election defeat, according to Business Insider, which received an advance copy of the book.

The Kentucky senator nonetheless supported Trump's demand for a ballot recount in swing states such as Arizona and Georgia, despite his doubts that it would change the final results. "President Trump is 100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options," he said at the time. 

President Trump left Mitch McConnell's stomach churning

Woodward and Costa's book paints a picture of a senior senator in a position no one would envy. Reportedly, McConnell told his staff, "There were so many Maalox moments over the years" as he tried to deal with the president's erratic moods. The days and weeks following the November 2020 election were particularly stressful, with Trump refusing to concede the loss — or prepare for the shift in power. "Peril" asserts that McConnell had to go to extreme measures to keep Joe Biden from phoning him: "Any call from Biden was sure to infuriate Trump and set off unwanted calls from him, asking if [McConnell] believed Biden had won the presidency."

Yet at the same time, McConnell and fellow senators had to be careful not to arouse Trump's suspicions. If the then-president felt that he was being left out of the political goings-on, he would have been "even more irrational," say the authors. From hard experience, McConnell knew that Trump was "wildly unpredictable" and that his "actions could lead to stressful predicaments," as Insider puts it.

Yet despite his four years of walking on eggshells and popping antacids, Mitch McConnell maintains his party loyalty. Despite rebuking Trump for his role in the January 6 insurrection, he opted to vote in the ex-president's favor during his second impeachment hearing. Now the Senate Minority Leader, McConnell also uses his Twitter account to criticize the Biden administration at every turn.