A photo of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell smiling in front of a Confederate battle flag has resurfaced this week after he blocked a larger stimulus check from passing. Both Republican and Democrat lawmakers and President Donald Trump supported the $2,000 financial relief, yet McConnell was able to stave it off, according to a report by Newsweek. Now, many angry Americans are looking back on McConnell's sordid history as a lawmaker.
McConnell is smiling and either accepting or giving an award in the now-viral photo where he stands in front of a massive Confederate flag. The picture has circulated since at least 2015, but according to a Snopes report, its details are still unclear. The photo seems to have been taken in the early 1990s, at an event hosted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans — a group whose motives have often been questioned. While it claims to be an organization for historical preservation, it has focused mainly on fighting for the right to display Confederate symbols publicly in recent decades.
This guy from Kentucky decides whether Americans get one-time $2,000 survival checks pic.twitter.com/0Mg0RP0Qbl— Colin Hicks 😷 (@colinenpraxis) December 29, 2020
When this photo first came out in 2015, McConnell issued a public statement saying that the "time for a state to fly [the Confederate flag] has long since passed." He did not explain the context of the photo or apologize for any offense it might have given. McConnell's office did not respond to a request for further explanation from Snopes reporters this week.
With the stimulus check decision now joining a string of recent controversial moves by McConnell, the outrage at him on social media has become widespread and generalized. However, McConnell was just re-elected as a senator from Kentucky in November of 2020, so he has his supporters as well. McConnell beat challenger Amy McGrath — a former Marine fighter pilot. That means he is guaranteed his spot in the United States Senate until 2026.
Furious Americans let the photo of McConnell in front of a Confederate flag fuel their outrage this weekend. Here is a look at what many had to say about the picture.
Ugh disturbing but not at all surprising https://t.co/12WzyZIzJ4— May 2020 Be Over Already??? (@CursedByCastiel) December 29, 2020
How is it our system allows him to do this?— mccullou (@mccullou) December 29, 2020
Mf been old his whole life https://t.co/uzKDqajKdv— Venny (@Venny1017) December 31, 2020
When someone like @senatemajldr tells you who and what they are, believe them.— Mike James (@EsotericMike) December 30, 2020
Until this #traitor is dragged from office and charged for his crimes no #Americans will be safe. https://t.co/g6PReVlFj8
Not Just Mitch
Any Senator can object, it's not a special authority conferred onto the Majority leader. The GOP follows Mitch and elects him their leader because he's doing what they want. It's not just Mitch.— Chad Meadows (@ChadwickD) December 29, 2020
I didn’t know it was custom for them to have award ceremonies outside of their dress whites 😒— Monica (@ReligioAmoris) December 29, 2020