McConnell reflects on historic week in Washington
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sits down to discuss the historic twists and turns in the nation's capital this week.
You can watch the full discussion of impeachment and how Congress moves forward this year in the video player above. A partial transcript follows below:
Kyle Midura - Washington Correspondent: Beyond your not guilty vote on impeachment can you walk us through what you ultimately concluded regarding the president and his requests for investigations into Burisma and Biden. Not impeachable (in your opinion) but was it perfect or inappropriate as some in your party have concluded?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): Well we had that debate for three weeks and different senators reached different conclusions about the appropriate remedy if they perceived that it was improper. But with the exception of one senator, all of my members members felt that even if you thought the call-as one member of mine said was inappropriate . Booting a president out of office and then preventing him also from running, I think overwhelming we felt that was bad for the country.
KM: As you previously noted the average voter supported the idea of witnesses - was there anything to be learned from Mr. Bolton, Mr. Mulvaney, Hunter Biden or the whistle-blower?
MM: No. They had a mountain of evidence. They argued, the house mangers argued during the case, that it was already conclusive. So, if they too were arguing that it was conclusive it was somehow odd to hear them argue that needed to hear from more people.
KM; Do you think the president will change his approach at all having lived through impeachment in the House and the trial in the Senate?
MM: I think the president is going to be like the president is. I think America is in good shape; I think the president has a lot of positive arguments to make going into the re-election. It seems to me as far as impeachments concerned that’s in the rear-view mirror. Now, we need to move forward.
KM: As you have noted, while Republicans and Democrats may agree on the challenges that many in this country face, there are often substantial differences in proposed solutions. What polices do you see being able to work together on this year so close to a general election?
MM: Well a good example is the USMCA, the new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada. We are doing things together, and, looking forward which is your question, transportation is a good example of something I think we can do together. There are a couple of very important bills related to the environment, water infrastructure bill, all of these are the kinds of things important to this country that I predict we will be able to do on a bipartisan basis even though we are in an election year.
KM: The big question on infrastructure hasn’t been do we need a massive investment so much as how do we pay for it.
MM: I don’t think we are going to be able to do a very large infrastructure bill because of the reluctance to raise the gas tax. But we’ll find some money to do something in the transportation field that continues to move the ball in the right direction.
KM: The President, during the State of the Union also brought up prescription drugs.
MM: Yea- much like my answer on transportation everybody thinks it’s a good idea to drive down the cost of prescription drugs. The way to do it is extremely controversial.
KM: I’ve heard more bi-partisan support recently than in the past for potentially importing drugs back from Canada
MM: I’m still concerned about safety. I think it’s important Americans know what they’re getting.
KM: Finally sir, the president in his State of the Union Address declared that the State of the Union is as strong as it’s ever been, do you agree with that assessment?
MM: I think the economy is in the best shape since I’ve been here, and I’ve been here three decades. And, I think that’s the strongest argument (President Trump) can make to the public for re-election.
KM: Wealth distribution though, is more uneven in this country than it has been since, I believe the 1920’s, is that a concern?
MM: Some people are more successful than others. The way to look at it is taking every stratum, and say how are they doing. They’re all doing better, from top to bottom.
KM: Senator McConnell, thank you as always for your time.
MM: Thank you
This article will be updated.