WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and also said he would help more populist challengers run primary races against anti-Trump Republicans.
“Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday, Feb. 16.
McConnell voted against Trump’s post-term impeachment but strongly criticized the former president over the Jan 6. Capitol riot.
“Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty,” McConnell said after the Trump impeachment failed on Feb. 13.
Trump hit back at McConnell and other GOP critics on Tuesday.
“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,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump also faulted McConnell for opposing $2,000 COVID relief checks saying they helped lose the GOP U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia. Those races took McConnell from Senate Majority Leader to Senate Minority Leader.
Seven Republicans voted to impeach Trump and try to bar him from running again in 2024. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican Trump critic, said he would have voted to impeach Trump and the GOP needs to move away from his populist agenda.
Trump remains off of social media after being banned by Facebook and Twitter.
But Trump’s impeachment acquittal is seeing him reemerge onto the political stage and there is a potential GOP civil war in 2022 and 2024 between Trump and his Make America Great Again supporters and more establishment and neoconservative Republicans.