Oct 23, 2019

McConnell denies Trump claim that he called Ukraine call "innocent"

Mitch McConnell conducts a news conferencein the Capitol on Tuesday. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he hadn't spoken with President Trump about the memorandum of his July phone call with Ukraine's leader that's at the center of the impeachment inquiry. That's despite Trump quoting McConnell on Oct. 3 as saying, "That was the most innocent phone call that I’ve read."

Why it matters: Trump made clear to reporters that he had spoken with McConnell, but the Senate majority leader said, "We have not had any conversations on this subject."

Flashback: White House records show Trump told reporters, "I read Mitch McConnell’s statement yesterday, and he read my phone call. And, as you know, he put out a statement that said that was the most innocent phone call he’s read. And I spoke to him about it, too."

"He read my phone call with the President of Ukraine.  Mitch McConnell — he said, 'That was the most innocent phone call that I’ve read.' I mean, give me a break."
— White House records of Trump's Oct. 3 remarks to reporters

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McConnell: Trump would be acquitted if Senate trial were held today

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that if an impeachment trial took place today, the Senate would acquit President Trump, Politico reports.

The big picture: McConnell recently claimed that impeachment would fail under his leadership in the Senate, despite acknowledging last week that he would have "no choice" but to put Trump on trial if the House approves the articles of impeachment. McConnell has indicated that such a trial would be handled quickly.

Go deeperArrowNov 5, 2019

Rep. Jeffries: 250 House-passed bills are in Mitch McConnell's "legislative graveyard"

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In an interview with Mike Allen for "Axios on HBO," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) lamented that more than 250 bills passed by Democrats in the House are sitting in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's "legislative graveyard."

The big picture: McConnell has called himself the "grim reaper" of progressive policies in the Senate. His campaign has also tweeted a photo of a graveyard with Democratic efforts marked on the headstones, including the name of McConnell's Democratic competitor Amy McGrath.

Go deeperArrowNov 3, 2019

How an impeached Trump wins

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Trump is showing how he could be impeached, survive and still win re-election, something never done before in American history.

Between the lines: Trump officials think two things must unfold for this to happen: Republicans must stay unified, in votes and voice, and the economy must be strong, in jobs and market returns. The trends are strong on both fronts.