President Donald Trump vocally supported Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), while calling out McConnell challenger Amy McGrath (D) for comparing his election to the historic terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.
“Democrats are coming after our great Kentucky Senator, Mitch McConnell, with someone who compared my election to September 11th,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday night, after McGrath announced her campaign against the incumbent Kentucky senator. “We need Mitch in the Senate to Keep America Great!!”
….Why would Kentucky ever think of giving up the most powerful position in Congress, the Senate Majority Leader, for a freshman Senator with little power in what will hopefully be the minority party. We need Mitch in the Senate to Keep America Great!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2019
“That morning I woke up like somebody had sucker punched me. I mean, I felt like, ‘What has just happened to my country?’” McGrath said of Trump’s election to the presidency. “The only feeling I can describe that’s any close to it was the feeling I had after 9/11,” she continued. “‘What just happened, where are we going from here,’ and it was that just sinking feeling of sadness, and I didn’t know what to do.”
McGrath was also interviewed by CNN on Tuesday, where she was asked about the statement. In response, she hedged the statement by attempting to broaden its application to the state of the country in general. McGrath said:
What I was talking about was the fact that nobody really expected President Trump to win and I was also talking about the entire 2016 cycle. Many of us were spurred into action by what happened in 2016, the labeling of each other as ‘They’re all communist,’ or ‘They’re all this,’ or ‘They’re all that,’ and the fake news, the divisiveness of our country, was something I’d never seen before.”
My husband is a Republican, I’m a Democrat. We took stock of that after the election and we said ‘Where are we as a country?’ And that way, it was the same thing, for me, was looking at that tragic event and taking stock of where are we as a country. And I can see why folks might be upset about that.
The 2001 terrorist attack orchestrated by Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda slew 2,996 Americans, and injured more than 6,000 others. It has been leveraged for political gain every year since. McGrath called McConnell out for helping to “bit by bit, year by year, [turn] Washington into something we all despise.”
“I’m running for Senate because it shouldn’t be like this,” she said.