Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday denounced Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. This marks a growing feud between the two most senior Republican voices following the party's loss of the White House and domination of the Senate.
According to Trump, "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 said so in a statement mere three days after McConnell criticized him following the former president's second impeachment trial, reported Canada.
The statement was one of the recently-acquitted former president's first issued remarks since leaving office and since he was suspended permanently from Twitter. According to McConnell, "There is no question -- none -- that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it," reported Yahoo News.
He admonished Trump for being responsible for the January 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol. McConnell gave a speech condemning Trump mere minutes after he voted for the former president's acquittal in his Senate impeachment trial. The former president responded in the statement mentioned above on Tuesday.
Trump and McConnell severed ties in the weeks following the November 3 presidential election. McConnell had recognized President Joe Biden as victorious.
According to the New York Times' Maggie Haberman, the former president's statement in retaliation to Mitch McConnell was initially going to be nastier. Citing sources close to Trump, Haberman stated his initial version of the statement was more "incendiary" than the one publicly released. The statement was issued instead of a news conference that he had initially planned to hold.
Trump's initial draft of his McConnell statement was nastier, per two people close to him, and it was delivered in lieu of the press conference he had thought about doing today https://t.co/tNI5uWLNDy— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 16, 2021
According to a former White House official, after McConnell had recognized the Democrat as the winner in mid-December, the pair has not spoken since. Aides were concerned Trump would go off track in his speech.
The Senate did not have adequate votes to convict the former president of "incitement of insurrection." In a speech following the vote, McConnell, once an ally of Trump, rebuked Trump for the insurrection that recorded five fatalities.
According to McConnell, "The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president." His speech, alongside the fact that seven Republican senators voted to convict Trump, has underscored that several Republican legislators want the party to distance itself from Trump, reported The Blogger.
The loss of both the White House to President Joe Biden and control of the Senate leaves Republicans on edge. They are surmising how to win back congressional control in 2022.
McConnell's vote to acquit Trump was because he believed the Constitution limited impeachment and conviction to sitting and not former officials. His vote hinged on a technicality.
However, from the Senate floor, McConnell lashed out at Trump for the U.S. Capitol siege. "Unless the statute of limitations is run, still liable for everything he did while he was in office. Didn't get away with anything. Yet. Yet," reported Yahoo News.