WASHINGTON – If Sen. Joe Manchin learned a lot of pro-Trump protesters The 73-year-old, 6-foot-3 former soccer star threatened to disrupt the congressional quorum count in the Capitol on Jan. 6. He said he was not ready to resign.
“My intention was to stay and fight: ‘Let them in. Let’s go.’ But I didn’t know what was going on, “said the West Virginia Democrat USA TODAY in an exclusive interview. “They had a lot of people singing. I wasn’t thinking anything about it. But within 10 or 15 minutes a SWAT team comes in with all their gear and says, ‘You’re out of here. Just go now. Don don’t even listen on. “
Manchin was a rare democrat who had a friendly relationship with former President Donald Trump: At one point there were reports that the President wanted to name him as his energy secretary (which would have given the Republican governor of West Virginia an opportunity to occupy Manchin’s Senate seat) but the Senator withdrew his name from the trial.
President Donald Trump speaks with Senator Joe Manchin after a joint congressional session on February 28, 2017.Win McNamee / Getty Images
Some would piss Trump off and vote twice to indict the president. inter alia in February on charges, he accused the January 6 mob Attack Congress. Trump was acquitted both times.
The West Virginia Senator TODAY told the US he still couldn’t believe the events of that day as Congress confirmed Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Although he had already established at the time of the uprising that the former president was a divisive force, Manchin said the events of January 6 still baffled him.
Manchin sat down with the US TODAY in his Capitol Hill office to discuss various topics, including Trump’s rhetoric that contributed to the January 6 attack, his ability to cut back on some of Biden’s progressive agenda, and his insistence that the Senate filibuster remain Despite pressure from Democrats to abolish it, any bill could pass with 51 votes instead of 60.
Manchin: Criticism can be an alternative to impeachment
West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says he is weighing his vote heavily on President Donald Trump’s impeachment, suggesting that criticism could be a bipartisan alternative. (3 February)
Manchin: “I’ve heard the Trump rhetoric forever. I got on well with Donald Trump. We had a good relationship. He called me all the time. We talked back and forth,” he said.
But “he liked conflict and he liked this turmoil. And that’s fine when you’re in business. But it doesn’t work for the public service. The whole principle of public service is to bring people together to reach consensus. And Donald Trump is not made that way. When I got to that conclusion, I think that’s just a lot of rhetoric. I didn’t know there was this kind of fever and pent-up hatred in people that he allowed them to to unleash. “
Manchin: “It’s a huge responsibility he has and he’s trying to bring everyone together. I know he wants it. I know it’s in his DNA. And I’d love to see that. The First Law (COVID-19 -Relief), I knew when he came out with it that he had to do something because we had COVID. We had people who lost their jobs. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. My better judgment was that we did something do what we can agree on – across party lines. But he had a bigger mission and I got that. He emerges as president. He wants to show his strength. “
Senator Joe Manchin, DW.V., and Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speak as they arrive at the U.S. Capitol to vote on Tuesday.Al Drago, Getty Images
Manchin: “I talk to everyone. I have dinner with everyone. If I find a way forward we will find it. You can’t find it if you don’t know people and if you really want to be a friend and work on an honest one Way, no gotcha moment.
Manchin: “Now we’re in a situation where we don’t have the urgency (as opposed to COVID-19 relief), this time sensitivity, that ‘we have to do this. We have to do the infrastructure.’ The infrastructure should have been completed 10 or 20 years ago. Right now it’s not like a do-or-die. We can fix it, we should fix it, but it should be infrastructure based. “
Manchin: “There’s a lot going into it and that would be fine as single-mindedness. But it could be more than what we can do and get enough votes to do it. Now they (Democrats) just want to get rid of the rules and do what you want to do. But when you do, just think about the swings every four years when things change – or every two years. “
Senator Joe Manchin leaves the U.S. Capitol following an impeachment session of President Donald Trump in the U.S. Capitol on January 31, 2020.Zach Gibson / Getty Images
Manchin: “Politically more than anything. How fragile we are. How close we have come to losing our country.”
Manchin: “It gave me more determination (to fight for it). If you want to lose it completely and be a government, we weren’t formed to try to make a more perfect union – not perfect, but more perfect – that’s not this Way of doing it. “
Manchin: “It wasn’t what it was supposed to be. Why do you (former Democratic Senator from West Virginia) think Robert Byrd introduced the Byrd Rule? To try to keep it in line. It’s not for that. And if they want get exceptions so they can use it as many times as they want to lead this congress. Can you imagine when our Republican friends will take control? And it will happen. The circle is full again. “
Released 11:20 UTC May. 2, 2021
Updated May 12:12 UTC. 2, 2021