Former President Donald Trump lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a speech on Saturday, denouncing the Kentucky Republican as a “dumb son of a b***h” for not defending his election challenges.
What are the details?
Speaking with major Republican National Committee donors at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump said that now-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would have fought for Trump if they were members of the same party.
“If that were Schumer instead of this dumb son of a b***h Mitch McConnell they would never allow it to happen. They would have fought it,” Trump said, the Washington Post reported.
“I hired his wife. Did he ever say thank you?” Trump later added, referring to Elaine Chao, who served as Trump’s transportation secretary.
Later in the speech, Trump promised that Republicans would retake Congress and the White House in 2022 and 2024, but did not say whether he would seek a second presidential term.
“I stand before you this evening filled with confidence that in 2022, we are going to take back the House and we are going to reclaim the Senate. And then in 2024, a Republican candidate is going to win the White House,” Trump said, according to prepared remarks seen by Reuters. Trump later tossed the prepared speech, the Post reported.
What is the background?
Despite their positive working relationship when Trump was president, McConnell and the former president have traded barbs since Trump’s election loss, particularly after the deadly U.S. Capitol riots.
In fact, McConnell directly blamed Trump for the violence following Trump’s second impeachment trial, which resulted in Trump’s second acquittal. McConnell voted “not guilty” on grounds the proceedings were not constitutional.
“There’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of [Jan. 6],” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
In that speech, McConnell also emphasized that Trump has not been criminally absolved for his actions in office.
“President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he’s in office, as an ordinary citizen, unless the statute of limitations has run,” McConnell said.
“He didn’t get away with anything — yet, yet,” McConnell added. “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation, and former presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.”
However, McConnell later admitted that he would support Trump if the former president wins the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.