The camp of Donald Trump, seeking control of the Republican Party, declares war on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
A statement in Trump’s name unleashed insult and threat on McConnell, three days after the Senate’s top Republican said Trump had incited the January 6 Capitol Attack and indicated that courts could pursue the former President for criminal activity.
The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political “leaders” like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm. 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 statement stopped short of Trump’s inciting rhetoric of “stolen election” but implied that McConnell — who ensured Trump’s acquittal last Saturday in his impeachment trial, just before issuing his critical statement on the Senate floor — had failed to protect Trump in his effort to overturn the vote.
McConnell did nothing, and will never do what needs to be done in order to secure a fair and just electoral system in the future. He doesn’t have what it takes, never did, and never will….
He is destroying the Republican side of the Senate, and in so doing, seriously hurting our Country.
The statement went so far as to denigrate Trump’s own Cabinet member, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao: “McConnell has no credibility on China because of his family’s substantial Chinese business holding.”
Honestly the craziest part of that statement is Trump just casually tossing out that a member of his own cabinet was compromised by Chinese business deals.
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) February 16, 2021
As expected, Trump issued his threat to run loyalists against Republican incumbents for the Senate, House, and Governor’s posts in the 2022 primaries:
Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, 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.
Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First.
“Too Many Chins But Not Enough Smarts”
McConnell followed up his Senate statement with an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, “Acquittal Vindicated the Constitution, Not Trump”.
There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility. His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s largest megaphone. His behavior during and after the chaos was also unconscionable, from attacking Vice President Mike Pence during the riot to praising the criminals after it ended.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, Trump’s friend and former chair of the Judiciary Committee, then fired the Trump camp’s opening shot. He derided McConnell’s remarks as an “outlier” and proclaimed, “The most potent force in the Republican Party is President Trump. We need Trump.”
State GOP branches showed their support by censuring legislators who voted to impeach and convict Trump, including Sens. Richard Burr and Bill Cassidy and Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.
A “person familiar with the situation” said Trump, infuriated by McConnell’s column in the Wall Street Journal, dictated the statement. Another source said top Trump advisor Jason Miller took the lead in writing the declaration.
The sources said the final version was toned down from Trump’s initial dictation: “There was also a lot of repetitive stuff and definitely something about him having too many chins but not enough smarts.”
Miller said he believed the statement could have been tougher; however, he denied consideration of an attack on McConnell‘s appearance.
Establishment Republicans and the McConnell camp have yet to reply to the attack.
But in a twist on Tuesday night, Graham turned from Trump’s initial warrior to a purported peacemaker.
Mitch McConnell was indispensable to Donald Trump’s success. They’re now at each other’s throats. I’m more worried about 2022 than I’ve ever been. I don’t want to eat our own.
My beef is not with Mitch McConnell. My beef is that we need to knock this off.