McConnell drafted letter banning Trump from Biden inauguration, new book reveals

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  • Mitch McConnell
    Mitch McConnell
    American politician
  • Donald Trump
    Donald Trump
    45th President of the United States
  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States
  • Jonathan Karl
    American journalist

Former president Donald Trump sent the 8 January tweet that got him permanently banned from Twitter after he found out that Senator Mitch McConnell had penned a letter disinviting him from Joe Biden’s inauguration, a new book from ABC’s Jonathan Karl reveals.

In Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, Mr Karl reports that Mr McConnell asked his staff to began drafting a letter telling Mr Trump that he was not welcome at the quadrennial event marking the peaceful transfer of power after the then-president incited a mob to storm the Capitol in hopes of blocking Congress from certifying Mr Biden’s electoral college victory.

“McConnell felt he could not give Trump another opportunity to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” Mr Karl writes, according to a report by ABC News. “McConnell wanted to get a letter together from the top four congressional leaders informing Trump that he had been disinvited.”

Of the four top congressional leaders, Mr Karl reports that only House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy dissented, though he added that Mr McConnell was determined to disinvite Trump regardless of whether McCarthy would sign the letter”.

But the Kentucky Republican’s plan became moot after Mr McCarthy tipped off the White House to his colleague’s intentions.

According to Mr Karl, Mr Trump “apparently wanted people to think it was his decision alone to become the first outgoing president after an election to fail to attend an inauguration since Andrew Johnson skipped the inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant in 1869” rather than suffer the embarrassment of being the first president to be disinvited from his successor’s swearing-in.

Attempting to get ahead of the news, Mr Trump dashed off a tweet declaring that he would not attend.

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20,” he wrote.

Earlier that day, Mr Trump had written another tweet in which he said that the “great American patriots” who’d voted for him two months prior would “have a giant voice long into the future” and “will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form”.

In a blog post announcing his permanent suspension from the platform that had, more than any other, powered his rise from reality show host to world leader, a Twitter spokesperson wrote that the two tweets taken together “were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021”.

The spokesperson added that the tweets violated the site’s policy against glorification of violence, and as a result Mr Trump was now banned from the site.

“Our determination is that the two Tweets above are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so,” they wrote.

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