Trump calls McConnell ‘best thing that ever happened’ to Democrats as feud escalates

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Former President Donald Trump attacked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement Saturday, saying the Kentucky Republican is the “best thing that ever happened” to Democrats.

Tensions simmered between Trump and McConnell in the wake of the 2020 election, with the Senate’s top Republican condemning the former president for the violence of the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump has repeatedly attacked McConnell since then, suggesting he should be ousted from his leadership role by his fellow GOP senators.

“The Democrats are now on another hit with their so-called voting rights bill, which is a disaster for our country and certainly the Republican Party. The problem is, good ol ‘Mitch gave our main bargaining weapon – the debt limit, and he got nothing for it, “Trump said in Saturday’s statement shared on Twitter by his official spokesperson. Liz Harrington.

“This is Democrat-controlled legislation that will make it virtually impossible for Republicans to win an election. It is a scam, like everything else offered by Democrats. McConnell is the best thing that has ever happened to them!” said the former president.

Former President Donald Trump attacked Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) in a statement Sunday. In this photo, McConnell speaks with reporters following the Senate Republican Political Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on December 14 in Washington, DC
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

McConnell struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York City, earlier this month that lifted the debt limit by a simple majority vote. While no Republican voted to approve the debt ceiling hike, McConnell and 13 other GOP senators voted to move the deal forward, clearing the way for Democrats to approve the increase themselves.

As Democrats attempt to pass key voting rights legislation, it is unclear whether there is a way forward in the Senate on an equal footing. Due to the Senate filibuster rule, most bills require the support of at least 60 Senators to become law. With just 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus and near-unanimous GOP opposition to proposed voting rights legislation, advocates have called for eliminating or reforming filibuster.

While Trump has said Republicans would be hurt by passing voting rights legislation, it’s not clear his assessment is correct. Virginia had approved many of the electoral reforms Democrats now hope to pass federally, but Republicans still had big successes in the November election.

Trump’s feud with McConnell began after the Senate’s top Republican refused to forcefully support his bogus claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. After the Jan. 6 attack on the legislative branch of government led by supporters of the former president, McConnell did not mince words in blaming Trump for the violence.

“There is no doubt – none – that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for bringing about the events of the day. No doubt about it. The people who stormed this building thought they were acting according to the the wishes and instructions of their president, ”McConnell said. during a speech in the Senate in February.

Trump quickly retaliated with his own statement, attacking McConnell.

“Mitch is an austere, brooding, smileless political hack, and if Republican senators stay with him, they won’t win anymore,” the former president said. Since then, he has suggested that McConnell was only re-elected because of his support and that he should be removed from his leadership role.

“Yes, well, I want to thank him for the 15 point margin I had in 2014 as well,” the Senate Minority Leader joked in March. McConnell made the sarcastic comment after a reporter asked him about Trump’s claim that he was only re-elected with the backing of the former president.

On Wednesday last week, Trump attacked McConnell in a statement and argued that he should not lead Republicans in the Senate.

“How does this guy [McConnell] can stay as a leader is beyond belief, ”Trump said, saying the assessment“ came not only from me, but from virtually everyone in the Republican Party ”.

Trump’s allies, including former White House strategist Steve Bannon and GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, also attacked McConnell.

“This is what your legacy will be. People are going to throw up in their mouths,” Bannon said, directing the remarks to McConnell, during a Friday episode of his. Crisis unit podcasts. “You betrayed the Republican Party. You betrayed this movement. You are only there because of Trump. You never had any loyalty.”

“The House of Representatives votes after midnight tonight because @LeaderMcConnell allowed Democrats to bypass the filibuster and raise the debt ceiling increase to $ 31.5 trillion,” Greene tweeted this week . “Mitch is Biden’s bitch,” she wrote.

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