‘Dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack’: Trump attacks Mitch McConnell
Former President Trump viciously castigated Sen. Mitch McConnell as a feckless leader responsible for Republicans’ loss of the upper congressional chamber, warning that if Republicans keep him as their leader, “they will not win again.”
In a blistering 626-word statement Tuesday evening, Trump attacked the minority leader’s “political insight, wisdom, skill and personality” and said the Kentucky senator’s unwillingness to support $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks cost Republicans two Senate seats in Georgia, which Democrats won in early January runoff campaigns.
“Mitch is a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack,” Trump said, “and if Republican senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again. He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our country.”
Trump’s broadside came three days after the Senate voted to acquit him of inciting the riot on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. McConnell joined 42 other Republicans in declaring the former president not guilty of the charge, but he later denounced Trump’s conduct that led to the insurrection.
On Tuesday, McConnell published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, detailing his constitutional reasons for acquittal, but signaled he would work against Trump-backed Senate candidates in 2022 whom he deemed unelectable.
Prosecuting Trump is unlikely to set a precedent because no president has ever caused a violent insurrection with his words and actions.
Hours later, Trump returned the fire.
“The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm,” Trump said. “McConnell’s dedication to business as usual, status quo policies, together with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality, has rapidly driven him from Majority Leader to Minority Leader, and it will only get worse.”
“The Democrats and Chuck Schumer play McConnell like a fiddle — they’ve never had it so good — and they want to keep it that way! We know our America First agenda is a winner, not McConnell’s Beltway First agenda or (Joe) Biden’s America Last,” Trump continued.
Trump, who is currently banned from his preferred social media platforms, issued the statement via an emailed news release.
Conflicted Republicans weigh life after Trump following seven GOP senators’ vote for conviction in the Senate impeachment trial.
A source familiar said the initial statement written by Trump was even more fiery and was ultimately watered down by aides before its release.
A McConnell spokesman did not immediately respond to an inquiry seeking reaction. But on Twitter, one of McConnell’s top political advisors described the Trump statement as “amusing” and implied it was predictable.
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