Former President Trump hasn’t let go of his grievances against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over supposed insufficient loyalty.
Trump reportedly told senators and allies recently about efforts to depose McConnell and whether any Republicans are interested in challenging the longtime Senate GOP leader, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Trump declined to confirm whether he was mounting a recruitment effort against McConnell to WSJ. The former president, however, reportedly said he wanted Senate Republicans to give McConnell the boot from the leadership position he has held for nearly 15 years.
“They ought to,” Trump said, according to WSJ. “I think he’s very bad for the Republican Party.”
McConnell declined comment to WSJ, which noted that the Senate minority leader’s grip on the 50 GOP senators remains strong.
Senate Republicans have shown little desire to be part of a recruitment effort to mount a challenge against McConnell, lawmakers and aides told WSJ.
“Naw, I’m not going to get in that fight,” said Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), a top Trump ally, told WSJ. McConnell, he added, “is doing a good job.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) likened Trump’s chances of ousting McConnell to that of a donkey learning to fly.
“I just don’t realistically see that happening,” Kennedy, another Trump ally in the Senate, told WSJ.
Even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of Trump’s closest advisers, told WSJ that McConnell is crucial to keeping Trump’s legislative victories alive. But Graham said it’s unlikely that Trump would stop waging attacks against McConnell.
Pressed on whether he has given any adviser to Trump on his feud with McConnell, Graham told WSJ, “Yeah, ‘Let’s focus on winning in 2022.’”
Trump’s reported desire to depose McConnell adds to the ongoing feud between the two after the Senate minority leader did not intervene to block the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory on the day that Trump supporters breached the Capitol in an effort to overturn the election results.
“Had Mitch McConnell fought for the Presidency like he should have, there would right now be Presidential Vetoes on all of the phased Legislation that he has proven to be incapable of stopping,” Trump said in a statement last June.
Trump also fumed over McConnell for reportedly urging then-Attorney General Bill Barr to push back against the then-President’s unfounded claims of a stolen election last year.
“Based on press reports, he convinced his buddy, Bill Barr, to get the corrupt (based on massive amounts of evidence that the Fake News refuses to mention!) election done, over with, and sealed for Biden, ASAP!,” Trump said in June.
Trump’s statement in June added to his long line of attacks against McConnell, which included deriding the Senate minority leader as a “dumb son of a bitch” at the RNC’s spring donor retreat.
McConnell initially scolded Trump on the Senate floor for inciting the mob behind the deadly Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.
“If that were (Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer) instead of this dumb son of a bitch Mitch McConnell they would never allow it to happen. They would have fought it,” Trump said at the RNC’s spring donor retreat in April, referring to the joint session of Congress certifying Biden’s formal victory that culminated in the deadly Capitol insurrection, according to the Washington Post.