Trump, who soured on McConnell after the Senate leader condemned Trump for the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and acknowledged President Joe Biden’s election victory, has renewed his attacks since last week, when McConnell gave a downbeat assessment of his party’s prospects of winning Senate control in the November election. Without naming anyone, McConnell cited “candidate quality” as a factor — an apparent swipe at struggling Trump-endorsed candidates like Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Herschel Walker in Georgia, and J.D. Vance in Ohio.
“Mitch McConnell is not an Opposition Leader, he is a pawn for the Democrats to get whatever they want,” Trump said in a statement on his Truth Social platform. “He is afraid of them, and will not do what has to be done. A new Republican Leader in the Senate should be picked immediately!”
Trump also tore into McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao, who resigned as Trump’s transportation secretary days after the Capitol riot. Trump cited an article in the conservative outlet The Federalist reporting the couple have been using their positions to make money in China.
Over the weekend, Trump bashed McConnell as a “broken down hack” and said he should spend more time and money helping GOP candidates than “helping his crazy wife and family get rich on China!”
Trump allies. including Fox News personality Sean Hannity, also took swipes at McConnell, accusing him of abandoning his own party’s candidates.
A cash-rich Super PAC linked to McConnell will spend $156 million after Labor day across eight states to boost candidates.
Despite the nastiness, McConnell appeared reluctant to criticize Trump, declining to talk about the former president’s attacks on his wife.
This is not the first time Trump has called for new GOP Senate leadership. Last year, he told Fox Business that McConnell had “not done a great job” and should no longer be leading Republicans in the upper chamber, according to The Hill.
Trump also accused McConnell of being pushed around by Democrats, blaming him for not doing enough to stop the landmark Inflation Reduction Act, which he called “a waste of money.”
Democrats surprised McConnell by securing the support of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on the revised version of what had been called Build Back Better. McConnell had said the Senate wouldn’t pass a computer chip bill if Democrats pursued budget reconciliation to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. But Democrats passed both.
McConnell has said he would still back Trump in 2024 if he was the Republican nominee for president.