Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed that he never refused to attend a meeting requested by President Obama. Unfortunately, reality disagrees with him.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is apparently a fan of “alternative facts.”
After Donald Trump petulantly lashed out at Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi over their stances on immigration and taxes, the two backed out of a planned meeting with Trump intended to avert a government shutdown.
“Given that the president doesn’t see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.
Schumer also took Trump to task in televised remarks.
“As long as he remains a destructive force, it would be a waste of everyone’s time to continue working with someone who clearly has no interest in coming to an agreement,” he noted tersely.
In response to Schumer and Pelosi, McConnell attempted to convey contempt and indignation at the very idea of backing out of a meeting with the occupant of the Oval Office.
“I never refused to go to a meeting that President Obama called,” he claimed. “It never occurred to me.”
Unfortunately for McConnell, reality would beg to differ.
In November 2010, McConnell chose to spend an evening with the conservative Federalist Society rather than attend a bipartisan meeting and later a dinner at Obama’s private residence.
“Republicans collectively backed out of the dinner with Obama, saying they were too busy, but McConnell said during a 15-minute morning speech to the conservative group that he planned to attend their annual dinner Thursday night, featuring a keynote address by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia,” the Huffington Post reported at the time.
McConnell didn’t deign to finally meet with President Obama until nearly two weeks later.
Obama’s former senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer called out McConnell’s lies:
McConnell would also pretend to be "busy" to prevent a meeting from being scheduled because he didn't want his base to see him with Obama https://t.co/F0CnGE8tDo
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) November 28, 2017
McConnell, who hails from Kentucky, even turned down an invitation from Obama in 2012 to come to the White House to celebrate the University of Kentucky’s NCAA basketball championship.
And of course, McConnell infamously refused to even hold any hearings at all for Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee to fill late Justice Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat.
McConnell spent the entirety of Obama’s presidency trying to obstruct his agenda and his nominations. For McConnell to now pretend otherwise is beyond absurd.
McConnell may be doing his best Trump imitation by trying to pretend that inconvenient facts simply don’t exist.
But the internet never forgets.