MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday recounted a bizarre scandal involving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
“Here’s a story. Or here’s at least a series of events that may or may not be connected, but I’m trying to wrap my head around them,” she explained.
She started her story over a year ago when the federal government put sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who she pointed out “used to do a bunch of work with Paul Manafort.”
The sanctions also impacted his company Rusal, which is the second largest aluminum company in the world.
Maddow explained how Deripaska ran a “robust and very expensive campaign by lobbyists” that resulted in the Trump administration relaxing the sanctions.
“And then something remarkable kind of happened,” she noted. “A big, bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives said, ‘Actually, no, the U.S. government should not lift those sanctions. Are you kidding? Oleg Deripaska was sanctioned for a reason, for a good reason. Why is the Trump Treasury Department lifting those sanctions?'”
The host noted 70 percent of House Republicans voted to retain the sanctions.
“Then it goes over to the Senate. Senate turns out to be a different story,” she reported.
“There were a whole bunch of Republican senators who wanted to join the House in making sure those sanctions stayed on Deripaska’s company, but the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell made sure that measure met a swift death on his side of the capitol. And so the Trump Administration was allowed to, in fact, lift those sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company earlier this year.”
“Cha-ching!” she continued. “And since then there have been a couple of noted developments involving Mitch McConnell.”
“First, Oleg Deripaska’s company announced last month that they have made a surprise decision to spend $200 million opening a new plant in Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky,” she continued. “It will come with a bow on it. It’s a project they’ll say will bring billions of dollars and thousands of Jobs to Mitch McConnell’s state.”
She also noticed a bizarre angle involving Rusal lobbyist David Vitter, who was a Republican senator before being disgraced in a sex scandal.