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McConnell told Biden not to call Trump after the election, worrying it would send the president into a fury: book

Sep 14, 2021
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Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell. Scott J. Applewhite/AP

  • McConnell was nervous a call from Biden after the election would send Trump into a fury, per a book.

  • He worked through a back channel to prevent a call from happening, the book says.

  • This came as top leaders feared Trump would take drastic actions as his term ended, the book adds.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After the 2020 election, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was so concerned about how President Donald Trump would react to a phone call from President-elect Joe Biden that he worked through a back channel to ensure it didn’t happen, according to an excerpt of a new book by the journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa that was obtained by The Washington Post.

McConnell was worried that a call from Biden would launch Trump into a fury, Woodward and Costa write in “Peril,” which is set to be released next week.

So he asked GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to ask Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, who has a close relationship with Biden, to tell the president-elect not to call Trump, the excerpt says.

Trump refused to accept the results of the election, despite no evidence of mass fraud or major irregularities. He has repeatedly and baselessly claimed that Biden stole the election from him. His false claims helped spark the deadly January 6 insurrection.

McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Kentucky Republican’s consternation over Trump’s reaction to a phone call came as a number of the US’s top leaders and officials were increasingly concerned about the former president’s erratic behavior, worrying he would take drastic actions during his final days in office, the book says.

The nation’s top general, Mark Milley, was “certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election,” the book says.

Woodward and Costa write that Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, contacted his Chinese counterpart twice during Trump’s final months to assure him the US would not launch an attack on China.

There were also concerns that Trump would launch a strike against Iran on his way out of office amid heightened tensions over the US adversary’s nuclear program, which has been detailed in numerous reports. After a meeting on the issue in November, the book says that CIA Director Gina Haspel called Milley and said, “This is a highly dangerous situation. We are going to lash out for his ego?”

Woodward and Costa also obtained a transcript of a call between Milley and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 8, two days after the Capitol insurrection. According to the book, Pelosi wanted to know “what precautions are available to prevent an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or from accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”

Milley told Pelosi there were “a lot of checks in the system,” the book says. Pelosi subsequently said to Milley of Trump: “He’s crazy. You know he’s crazy,” the book adds.

The book says that Milley told Pelosi he agreed with her “on everything.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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