- Trump threw Sen. Mitch McConnell under the bus in a blistering Tuesday statement.
- Trump called the powerful Senate Republican a “dour, sullen, unsmiling political hack.”
- McConnell strongly criticised Trump’s actions related to the Capitol siege in a Saturday floor speech.
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Former President Donald Trump lashed out at his one-time ally, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a blistering statement issued on Tuesday through his Save America leadership PAC.
McConnell voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial on a charge of inciting the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol for constitutional reasons, but condemned Trump’s role in the riots in a strongly-worded floor speech afterward.
“There is no question â€” none â€” that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said on February 13, calling Trump’s lack of a speedy response to quell the insurrection once it began “a disgraceful dereliction of duty”
“The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president,” he said.
In his statement, Trump attacked McConnell as a “dour, sullen, unsmiling political hack,” saying that “if Republican Senators stay with him, they will not win again.”
He added: “The Democrats and Chuck Schumer play McConnell like a fiddle â€” they never had it so good â€” and they want to keep it that way! We know our America First agenda is a winner, not McConnell’s Beltway First agenda or Biden’s America Last.”
The New York Times and Politico both reported that Trump had drafted a “nastier” version of the statement that made fun of McConnell for having “too many chins,” but was ultimately persuaded by advisors to scrap it.
Donald Trump just put out a very long statement through his "Save America PAC" attacking @LeaderMcConnell.
The lede: "The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political 'leaders' like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm." pic.twitter.com/NXIsHnJxzB
— Eli Yokley (@eyokley) February 16, 2021
Trump also blamed McConnell for the “Georgia disaster,” which, he wrote, was caused because the Kentucky senator didn’t support higher COVID-19 stimulus checks in the relief bill that passed Congress in December.
“McConnell matched the Democrat offer of $US2,000 stimulus checks with $US600. How does that work? It became the Democrats’ principal advertisement, and a big winner for them it was,” Trump said.
Republicans lost the dual January 5 Senate runoff elections in Georgia, ending years of Republican dominance in the state and handing Democrats narrow control of the US Senate.
Outlets including The New York Times, however, have reported that McConnell mainly faults Trump for the loss of the Senate races over his repeated attacks on the integrity of Georgia’s elections and top Republicans in the state, attacks that Trump repeated in his statement.
The former president also criticised McConnell for not being grateful for Trump’s endorsement in his 2020 Senate race against Democratic challenger, Amy McGrath.
“My only regret is that McConnell ‘begged’ for my strong support and endorsement before the great people of Kentucky in the 2020 election, and I gave it to him,” he wrote. “He went from one point down to 20 points up, and won. How quickly he forgets.”
Trump ended his statement by saying, “where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First.”
Trump and McConnell have reportedly not spoken since mid-December, when McConnell publicly acknowledged Trump’s election loss in a December 15 speech on the Senate floor and congratulated President Joe Biden on his election victory.
The New York Times has reported that McConnell plans to never speak to Trump again over his role in inciting violence at the Capitol as well as his lack of leadership in responding to the insurrection.