Tommy Tuberville is quickly making his mark on American politics. After armed rioters broke into the Capitol during the counting of electoral votes, Tuberville was one of the six senators who returned to chambers unmoved and voted to overturn election results. So does he just love democracy that much or did he have someone in his ear telling him to do it? Perhaps someone like Donald Trump.
With a mob of election protesters laying siege to the U.S. Capitol, Sen. Mike Lee had just ended a prayer with some of his colleagues in the Senate chamber when his cellphone rang. Caller ID showed the call originated from the White House. Lee thought it might be national security adviser Robert O’Brien, with whom he’d been playing phone tag on an unrelated issue. It wasn’t O’Brien. It was President Donald Trump. “How’s it going, Tommy?” the president asked. Taken a little aback, Lee said this isn’t Tommy. “Well, who is this? Trump asked. “It’s Mike Lee,” the senator replied. “Oh, hi Mike. I called Tommy.”
Lee then handed Tuberville his phone and they proceeded to have a fairly lengthy conversation. According to Lee, Trump spoke with Tuberville - on Mike Lee's phone - for five to ten minutes before Lee finally asked for his phone back when police decided to evacuate everyone for their own safety.
This would only be the first time on Wednesday that Trump's quickly shrinking team tried to contact Tuberville and called a wrong number. Celebrity lawyer Rudy Giuliani left a voicemail for Tuberville on another Senator's line later that evening, asking him to help slow down the counting process. That senator shared the voicemail with The Dispatch.
When Congress reconvened, Tuberville voted to overturn the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. This did nothing except reveal that Tuberville is extremely beholden to the guy who just encouraged a angry mob to storm the Capitol while Congress was in session.
The question is, why? Trump reportedly did not attempt to contact Mike Pence during the riot, but he had a complete conversation with Tommy Tuberville during the height of the chaos. Yet Tuberville wasn't actually important enough for anyone to get his number right. That must sting a little.