McConnell busted for sudden silence on 'real friend' Joe Biden once Trump began his ugly attacks
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On Saturday, Washington Post columnist Paul Kane noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) used to consider former Vice President Joe Biden a close friend — but now that President Donald Trump and his allies have been attacking him and potentially committing impeachable offenses for the sake of discrediting him, McConnell has fallen silent about it.

"Three years ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell paid tribute to a former colleague in the most personal of ways," wrote Kane. "Leading off tributes from the Senate floor, the Kentucky Republican hailed the honoree's rise from 'unknowing despair' to forge 'unlikely friendships' and whose word was so good you could 'trust him implicitly.' Finally, McConnell looked up at the Senate’s presiding officer, growing slightly emotional. 'You’ve been a real friend, you’ve been a trusted partner, and it’s been an honor to serve with you,' McConnell told Joe Biden, then serving out his final weeks as vice president, on Dec. 7, 2016. 'We’re all going to miss you.'"

"Now, McConnell has remained conspicuously quiet as three Senate committee chairmen have begun two separate probes into his onetime 'trusted partner,'" said Kane, who noted that Senate Judiciary chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is now opening an investigation into Biden to try to get the Ukraine dirt on his son that Trump was seeking when he withheld military aid from the country.

"McConnell’s handling of Trump’s focus on the Bidens will prove more crucial than whatever Graham, who faces reelection in 2020, cooks up in his committee," wrote Kane. "In an impeachment trial, McConnell does not have the same sort of procedural power that he regularly wields, but he holds more clout than any Senate leader in a generation and can make his views known in a way that will probably determine outcomes on which witnesses to call and when to end the proceedings."

"Biden supporters cannot even fathom the idea that McConnell actually believes the allegations coming from Trump and his allies," wrote Kane. "Ted Kaufman, the former top Biden aide who replaced him in the Senate in 2009, returned to Washington that day in December 2016 to honor Biden. Kaufman saw McConnell’s speech as a throwback to less partisan times, a genuine bond between two leaders. 'That is a great example of the Senate of 40 years ago,' said Kaufman."

"As he closed out his remarks, McConnell told the story about Biden in Louisville talking about how they really were good friends. 'It was true then, and it is true today,' McConnell said three years ago," concluded Kane. "It remains to be seen whether that is true two months from now."

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