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

The former administration left behind a 69-page document.

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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.

 

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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