Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not feel any remorse whatsoever about his decision to sign a letter intended to interfere with the White House’s negotiations with Iran. He called it a “manufactured controversy” and gave a few examples on why he felt it was not unprecedented, despite the overwhelming amount of criticism Republicans have received for it.
Here’s the problem: The examples he cited as reasoning for why the letter “was no big deal” are straight up lies. And, we can prove it.
Here is what McConnell said, in full on CNN:
I think this is a good case of selective outrage. I remember reading about Sen. Robert Byrd when he was the Senate Majority Leader flying to Moscow during the negotiations over the Salt II treaty explaining to the Russians the Senate’s role in treaty ratification, and John Kerry when he was a senator flew to Managua there and met with a communist dictator, Daniel Ortega, and accused the Reagan administration of engaging in terrorism. So look, members of Congress expressing themselves about important matters, not only at home, but around the world is not unprecedented. So the main point here that I think everybody needs to understand is the president is about to make a very bad deal. He clearly doesn’t want Congress involved in it at all, and we’re worried about it. We don’t think he ought to make a bad deal with one of the worst regimes in the world.
He then defended the letter in its entirely and flat out dismissed any of his critics:
Sure, I signed the letter, I don’t think it was a mistake. Yea, I read it, it was entirely appropriate.
Now, that’s what you call doubling down in poker.
Let’s review, shall we?
According to the Chicago Tribune on Byrd’s trip, the congressional delegation that went to Moscow was bipartisan. Senate Republicans also went on that trip, and it wasn’t designed to sabotage the President. They were trying to help President Reagan even though they had differences. In fact, it was almost the complete opposite – they hand delivered a personal letter from President Reagan to Soviet leaders. How does this establish precedent for what McConnell and his fellow republicans did?
Is McConnell just straight up delusional or intentionally trying to mislead the public now that his party is experiencing blow back for what he and his party did?
The second example he used was of John Kerry, and that was bipartisan, as well. According to the Boston Globe, Kerry teamed with a Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jesse Helms and decided to launch a probe into Reagan’s illegal dealings of supporting the Contra’s. Helms was an unlikely partner for Kerry, but if there is one thing Helms hated the most, it was drugs.
I will tell you what I do not support, and John Kerry and I have talked about this: anybody sending drugs into this country. I do not care whose side they are on.
This was a discussion that took place during a committee meeting, and was an “investigation.” It was this discussion that led Kerry on a 36-hour fact finding mission. Anything Kerry allegedly said was something he personally was speaking about. It was completely different than interfering with a deal that was going to be reached by a foreign country and a sitting U.S. President. They don’t even draw comparisons.
Mitch McConnell may be trying to save face for the television limelight, but don’t let the fundamental facts of the situation fool you.
How good do you think his poker face is?
H/T: Think Progress Featured Image: Text Added