Politics & Policy

Pelosi Continues to Suggest Russians Hold Sway Over McConnell

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Washington, D.C., October 24, 2019. (Matt McClain/Reuters Pool)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) continued to play up claims that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is beholden to Russian interests during a caucus meeting Tuesday.

Pelosi told Democratic colleagues during a meeting on impeachment that “sometimes she wonders whether McConnell has Russian connections,” CNN’s Manu Raju reported Tuesday.

Pelosi made similar comments on Sunday to ABC’s George Stephanopolous after he asked about the integrity of the 2020 election, citing a report that Russia could be “more brazen” in 2020 than in 2016.

Pelosi slammed Trump for being in “complete denial” of Russia’s interference, and then pivoted to McConnell.

“Sometimes I wonder about Mitch McConnell too,” Pelosi questioned. “What’s he — why is he an accomplice to all of that? He has resisted sources going in a manner commensurate with the threat for state agencies, whichever they are in a state, could be the secretary of state or whatever, to protect our infrastructure, our critical infrastructure of elections.”

Pelosi said Tuesday that the House would vote to transmit the articles of impeachment on Wednesday, and that Trump and Senate Republicans “will be held accountable” for holding a fair trial.

Democrats have previously accused McConnell of Russian sympathies for opposing two Democrat-led election-security bills. Some in the media have also joined Democrats in impuning McConnell’s motivations: MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough routinely refers to him as “Moscow Mitch.”

In July, McConnell slammed accusations that he was “essentially treasonous” as examples of “modern-day McCarthyism.”

“Over the last several days, I was called unpatriotic, un-American, and essentially treasonous by a couple of left-wing pundits on the basis of boldfaced lies,” the Kentucky Republican said at the time. “I was accused of aiding and abetting the very man I’ve singled out as our adversary and opposed for nearly 20 years: Vladimir Putin.”

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