Former President Donald Trump isn’t giving up his fight against the Republican establishment, saying Thursday that Senate Republicans should drop Mitch McConnell and find new leadership prior to the 2022 midterm elections.
During an appearance with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, she asked Trump what he thought the GOP’s chances looked like in 2022.
He said that he thought Republican candidates would do well, but that new leadership was needed.
Trump stated, “I think we’re going to do very well. We need good leadership. Mitch McConnell has not done a great job, I think they should change Mitch McConnell.”
While Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell appeared to have a reasonably cordial working relationship during Trump’s time in office, that all changed on Jan. 6 after Trump supporters descended on Washington D. C. to protest what they believed to be a dishonest election.
After the Capitol riot, it did not take long for then-Majority Leader McConnell to blame trump for the violence.
McConnell said, “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the President and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the Federal Government which they did not like. But we pressed on.”
In the days following the riot, Fox reported that McConnell was “done” and “furious” with Trump.
In February, in one of Trump’s first public statements since leaving office, he bashed the Senate Minority Leader, calling him “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack.” Trump added that, “The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm.”
Earlier this month, Trump blasted McConnell again. While giving a speech to members of the Republican National Committee at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump referred to McConnell as “a dumb son-of-a-bitch.”
Trump added that, “Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership.”
In an odd twist, back in February, during an interview with Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier, McConnell said that should Trump be the GOP nominee in 2024, he would back him. “The nominee of the Party? Absolutely,” McConnell said.
Following the Mar-a-Lago gathering, reports emerged of McConnell seeking a truce with Trump.
While addressing reporters, McConnell said, “What I’m concentrating on is the future and what we are confronted with here is a totally left-wing administration, with a slight majority in the House, a 50-50 Senate trying to transform America into something no one voted for last year.”
The majority of Senate Republicans stand solidly behind Mitch McConnell’s leadership, and a few have consistently defended McConnell. No GOP Senators have shown interest in challenging McConnell for leadership.
The Hill reports that McConnell has not spoken to Trump since February, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, to strategize and look at ways Trump can help Republicans can take back the House in 2022.
Whether GOP Senators back McConnell or not, it should be apparent to them that Trump’ endorsement is the one Republican candidates want for 2022.
Trump advisors have said that as many as a dozen GOP candidates have already or are planning to reach out to Trump for his endorsement.
During his appearance with Maria Bartiromo, Trump stated, “I’m looking at the right people to endorse and when I endorse people it means a lot. I think we’re going to have a great victory in 2022. I think we’re going to take back the House. Everybody’s working very hard.”
Chances are that Mitch McConnell isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But neither is Donald Trump.
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