McConnell Admits He Was Wrong to Say Obama Left Trump Without Pandemic Plan

The former administration left behind a 69-page document.

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday conceded that he had been “wrong” to claim, as he did during an appearance on the Trump campaign’s YouTube channel earlier this week, that the Obama administration had failed to leave guidance on preparing for a pandemic.

“I was wrong,” the top Senate Republican told Fox News. “They did leave behind a plan. So I clearly made a mistake in that regard.”

McConnell, however, refused to make a judgment on whether President Trump had failed to follow the playbook. “I don’t have any observation about that because I don’t know enough about the details of that to comment on it in any detail.”

But McConnell’s claim of ignorance didn’t stop him from making his false allegation on Monday. 

“We want to be early and ready for the next one because clearly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this,” McConnell had told Team Trump Online. Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law and host of Monday’s episode, smiled in agreement: “That’s exactly right.”

McConnell’s remarks—which echo the president’s ongoing efforts to blame his predecessor for the bungled pandemic response—sparked immediate pushback from former Obama officials, many of whom pointed to the literal documentation that had been made available to the Trump White House. Politico reported on the 69-page document back in March.

 

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate