Trump Reportedly Looking to Depose ‘Very Bad for Republican Party’ Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell
There has been a growing rift between the two most senior Republicans – ex-President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, since the GOP lost the White House and control of the Senate in the wake of the 2020 elections.
The ex-POTUS is said to have conferred with senators and allies to gauge whether enough would be on board to potentially “depose” the Republican Senator from Kentucky, who has held this seat since 1985. While Donald Trump is not suggested as having thrown his weight behind any potential challengers against McConnell, he has ostensibly argued for the need to oust the senator from the GOP leadership position.
However, Senate Republicans are proving difficult to recruit for the overthrow task, according to lawmakers and aides cited by the Journal. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), an ally of the former president, was cited as saying:
"Naw, I'm not going to get in that fight," adding that McConnell "is doing a good job."
Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana told the publication that he doesn't "realistically see that happening." While Mitch McConnell was needed for Donald Trump's legislative achievements, the former president would likely persist in attacking the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was cited as saying.
Trump - McConnell Feud
© REUTERS / Kevin LamarqueSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after the Senate Republican lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 23, 2021
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after the Senate Republican lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 23, 2021
“Nobody will ever understand why Mitch McConnell allowed this non-infrastructure bill to be passed. He has given up all of his leverage for the big whopper of a bill that will follow. I have quietly said for years that Mitch McConnell is the most overrated man in politics - now I don’t have to be quiet anymore,” fumed Trump, adding:
“He is working so hard to give Biden a victory, now they’ll go for the big one, including the biggest tax increases in the history of our Country.”
Trump lambasted the GOP leader in July as a weak politician standing in the way of the Republican Party's progress in an interview with Vanity Fair, exclaiming:
"He's a stupid person. I don't think he's smart enough… I tried to convince Mitch McConnell to get rid of the filibuster, to terminate it so that we would get everything, and he was a knucklehead and he didn't do it."
Trump and McConnell most notably fell out after the former POTUS claimed the 2020 elections had been rigged to favour his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, denying the results of the poll. On 6 January 2021, a group of protesters besieged the US Capitol in a bid to prevent lawmakers from certifying the 2020 election results that Trump had repeatedly denounced as fraudulent, and certify Joe Biden as the winner. At the time, scores of pro-Trump supporters had rallied outside the US Capitol building. Five people died as a result of the events and dozens more were injured, including at least 138 police officers.
© REUTERS / Shannon StapletonPolice release tear gas into a crowd of pro-Trump protesters during clashes at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.
Police release tear gas into a crowd of pro-Trump protesters during clashes at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.
Democratic lawmakers attempted to use the events at the Capitol to try to impeach Donald Trump a second time. However, the impeachment trial failed in the Senate in February, when Trump was already out of office.
Mitch McConnell, who voted to acquit Trump, had excoriated Trump on 13 February, saying on the Senate floor: "There's no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day… The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth."
Trump lashed back, saying in a statement:
“Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.”
The ongoing feud between the two men reportedly gathers momentum as Republicans gear up to wrest control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections from the Democratic Party. The GOP’s optimism is buoyed as polls have shown President Joe Biden's approval rating plunging below 50 percent this summer, driven by the botched evacuation of Afghanistan, the Delta coronavirus variant putting a spoke in the wheel of the vaccination drive, and inflation – all taking their toll.
“That is one of most reliable patterns in American politics, that the president’s party tends to lose seats” in midterm elections, said Frances Lee, associate chair of the Department of Politics at Princeton University was cited as saying by US media.