When we last checked in on the Mitch McConnell–Donald Trump rift, things had gotten increasingly ugly. After four years of a mutual understanding that working together was in the best interest of their individual quests to amass as much power as possible no matter the cost, the former president and former Senate majority leader had apparently decided that their alliance no longer served a purpose, and that the other one should go to hell. Following his decision to acquit Trump of inciting the January 6 mob, McConnell went on to tell reporters that there was “no question…that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” That elicited a response from Trump in which he dubbed McConnell “dour, sullen, and unsmiling” and lacking in “political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality,” adding, “He doesn’t have what it takes, never did, and never will.” (An earlier draft reportedly included an aside about the Kentucky lawmaker “having too many chins but not enough smart[s].”) And two months later, it does not appear that the duo have patched things up!
On Thursday morning, asked how he expects Republicans will do in the 2022 midterm elections, Trump told Maria Bartiromo that he thinks they’ll do well but that a leadership change is in order. “Mitch McConnell has not done a great job, I think they should change Mitch McConnell.”
That diss apparently didn’t sit well with McConnell, who did his own little interview later in the day, in which he told Fox News, of Trump’s comments: “We’re looking to the future, not the past. And if you want to see the future of the Republican Party, watch Tim Scott’s response to President [Joe] Biden last night. He’s the future. That’s where we’re headed. We’re not preoccupied with the past, but looking forward.”
At present, many Republicans are very much preoccupied with the past, both in their insistence that Trump won the 2020 election and their continued slobbering loyalty to the guy. As of last month, a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll poll disturbingly showed that a majority of GOP voters would back a 2024 bid for the White House by the 45th president. Trump, of course, has not yet committed to running again and will more than likely drag any announcement out until the last possible second, treating the fate of democracy like a sweeps-week episode of The Apprentice.
As for McConnell, while it’s great to see someone, anyone, calling Trump a has-been who should never, ever be allowed near the halls of power again, it’s important to remember that the Senate minority leader is a shameless hack who famously has no principles, and will do whatever he needs to hang onto power. Back in February, shortly after insisting that Trump was responsible for the attack on the Capitol, he happily told Fox News that he would “absolutely” support Trump if he was the GOP’s 2024 nominee.
So there’s that.
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Trump is still trying to overturn the 2020 election