NBC’s John Heilemann said Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney were leading the charge to “strike at the fallen king.”
Heilemann told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that both McConnell and Cheney were making political calculations as to how they could retain they positions and build a stronger base moving forward, and their assessment appeared to be that the best way to do that was without President Donald Trump. (RELATED: NBC ‘Journalist’ Accidentally Admits He’s A Democrat)
Heilemann said that McConnell and Cheney had “set in motion one of the fastest moving, most unpredictable political dynamics” he had ever seen — Cheney in a very public statements saying that she would vote to impeach and McConnell, through less direct channels, suggesting he also believed Trump to be guilty of impeachable offenses.
“That’s Mitch McConnell saying I’m done with Donald Trump,” Heilemann noted, arguing that at least in McConnell’s case, it was likely a move to propel himself back into power. (RELATED: ‘Absolute Lunacy’: Meghan McCain Doesn’t Understand Why Trump Isn’t ‘Being Dragged Out By His Toes’)
“What Mitch McConnell announced yesterday is that his route back to power and his view for the Republican Party to get back into power is to take this opportunity and, as Donald Trump lies wounded and weakened by what he did over the course of the last several months and particularly what happened last week, this is the moment to strike at the fallen king. And behead him,” Heilemann said. “That’s what Mitch McConnell is moving to do right now.”
Heilemann argued that McConnell’s goal was to change the calculus and reframe the question of what the Republican Party would be going forward by allowing Trump to be removed from the equation.
“Now he may be wrong about that, by the way. McConnell may be wrong. But what we’re seeing right now is Mitch McConnell saying we must now rid — this is our chance,” Heilemann continued. “And he’s sending that signal clearly to his Senate colleagues in the Republican side as Liz Cheney said it to her House colleagues.”
Heilemann concluded that Cheney’s colleagues in the House would be far less likely to jump on board with her, claiming that there were more “Trumpists” who would continue to support the president.