Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday accused the New York Times of lying about GOP Sen. Tom Cotton’s op-ed about the George Floyd protests and said the newspaper collapsed like a “house of cards” after staffers raised a ruckus over it.
“One of our nation’s most storied newspapers just had its intellectual independence challenged by an angry mob and they folded like a house of cards,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “A jury of people on Twitter indicted them as accessories to a crime idea and instead of telling them to go take a hike, the paper pleaded guilty and begged for mercy.”
The Majority Leader said faced with criticism from the left and claims from its staffers that Cotton’s piece added a threat to their personal safety, the Times lied.
“The Times itself started lying about what Sen. Cotton had said. The paper’s own Twitter account has claimed he called for a crackdown on peaceful protests when he specifically distinguished them from violent protests, ”McConnell said.
The Old Gray Lady faced an internal revolt last week after Cotton’s op-ed, headlined “Send in the Troops” was published.
In it, Cotton argued that President Trump should use the Insurrection Act of 1807 to allow him to deploy the U.S. military across the country to quell the riots sparked by Floyd’s death while in Minnesota police custody on May 25.
Cotton wrote that “nihilist criminals are simply out for loot and the thrill of destruction, with cadres of left-wing radicals like the infiltrating antifa protest marches to exploit Floyd’s death for their own anarchic purposes.”
By Sunday, the page editorial editor James Bennet resigned his post.
“Last week we saw a significant breakdown in our editing processes, not the first thing experienced in recent years,” Times Publisher A. G. Sulzberger, wrote in a note to staff.