Jon Karl reveals a stunning GOP call where Josh Hawley completely blew off Mitch McConnell

Jonathan Karl's new book Betrayal seems to indicate that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was losing control of his own Republican caucus ahead of Jan. 6.

In a section about Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Karl described McConnell with "unusual anger in his voice," during a New Year's Even conference call with the GOP caucus. It was about Hawley's decision to announce that he would oppose the certification of the 2020 election.

"McConnell...demanded that Hawley justify his decision and posed a series of questions that came down to this: Why was he forcing a vote where his colleagues would have to choose between publicly defying Donald Trump or defying the Constitution by overturning the election?"

But Hawley didn't say a word, so McConnell asked him again to defend his decision to his colleagues but Hawley still didn't respond. That was when one of his fellow members suggested that perhaps Hawley was having technical difficulties with the conference call line.

"But it soon became clear there were no technical difficulties," wrote Karl. "Hawley wasn't there. He had blown off the call, ignoring McConnell's pleas, and then not bothered to join the call to defend his decision. Now that Hawley had forced a debate and vote on Trump's lost cause, McConnell was determined to keep other senators from voting with Hawley to effectively undo a presidential election."

The problem with McConnell's frustration though is that he hadn't said a word about Biden's election in six weeks, leaving Trump to control the GOP and turn the Republican Party into the party of sore losers. McConnell's lost control over the caucus has now caused so much infighting that senators are starting to turn on him, CNN reported last month.

"And even after that, he was much more forceful about shooting down the claims of election fraud in private than he was in public," wrote Karl. "But now McConnell was on a mission. He felt Trump's lost cause was hurting the Republican Party."

Jan. 5 proved the disaster McConnell was afraid of, both Democrats won the Senate seats in Georgia and the Senate flipped to Democrats. A public protest from Republican senators over the election certification put other GOP members in Trump's crosshairs.

"My first choice would have been to not have the vote at all," McConnell told Karl. "But if we had to have the vote, I wanted to have as few of my members as possible [vote yes]."

"What I said in my conference was this is the most important vote I will have ever cast in the thirty-six years I've been here," McConnell told Karl. "This goes right into the question of the resilience of our democracy."

Republicans in the House joined with Hawley including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Karl cited a House conference call where Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) echoed many of the same sentiments McConnell had. McCarthy told members that wasn't the leadership speaking, it was Cheney.

The discussion prompted Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) to warn that there could be possible violence over the oppositions to the election certification, but McCarthy ignored him. Instead, he dodged repeated questions about where he stood on the issue and how he wanted the caucus to vote. But behind the scenes, he was convinced that if he wasn't loyal to Trump he'd end up as political roadkill.

Then Jan. 6 happened.

McCarthy crawled back to Trump again, begging for help in winning seats in Congress. Trump told Karl it was clear McCarthy was just using him. McConnell, on the other hand, wasn't about to fly to Mar-a-Lago to stroke Trump's ego. In fact, the two haven't spoken since 2020. In wake of the vote, Trump has attacked McConnell publicly and made it clear that he would never do anything for the Kentucky senator again. The feud continues.

Karl's book is on sale now.

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