Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
The longtime rift between former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has not abated, even after two years have eclipsed since Trump’s term in office ended.
Wednesday, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to advocate for a change in Republican leadership in the upper chamber.
“Mitch McConnell is not an Opposition Leader, he is a pawn for the Democrats to get whatever they want,” Trump wrote. “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!”
The immediate source of Trump’s annoyance seems to have been an article from The Federalist in which Jordan Boyd explored the apparent lucrative dealings of McConnell and his wife Elaine Chao in China. But the deep-rooted seed of the former president’s anger is likely McConnell’s mostly lukewarm, and at times openly oppositional, stances to Trump’s political efforts.
McConnell was never exactly enthusiastic about Trump’s rise to power, but the pair truly split when the Kentucky senator criticized Trump for having, the senator said, played a role in the events that took place at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
More recently, McConnell worried in public that Republicans might lose seats in the Senate or fail to make as many gains as hoped in the House because of poor “candidate quality” heading into general elections. It was a not-so-subtle-dig at Trump, who has backed numerous political newcomers and outsiders who he says will help usher in a new era of American governance.
McConnell later calibrated his response to say that he thought Republicans had a 50-50 shot of capturing a majority in the Senate.
Trump objected to McConnell having given voice to a gloomy forecast and, on Sunday, went on Truth Social to air this opinion.
“Why do Republicans Senators allow a broken down hack politician, Mitch McConnell, to openly disparage hard-working Republican candidates for the United States Senate?” Trump asked. “This is such an affront to honor and to leadership. He should spend more time (and money!) helping them get elected, and less time helping his crazy wife and family get rich on China!”
Trump’s mention of the China connection gave way to the Federalist article which then gave way to Trump’s Wednesday statement, which began:
The Democrats have Mitch McConnell and his lovely wife, Elaine ‘Coco’ Chao, over a barrel. He and she will never be prosecuted, as per the last paragraphs of [the Federalist article], as long as he continues to give the Radical Left the Trillions and Trillions of Dollars that they constantly DEMAND. He was afraid to use the ‘Debt Ceiling Card’ in order to stop the most expensive waste of money in our Country’s history, to be spent on the Green New Deal, which will only cause one thing, a Depression.
With the exception of money earmarked for Ukraine, McConnell has, objectively, made efforts to limit the success of many Democrat spending proposals. The Inflation Reduction Act passed the Senate without a single Republican vote and only after intense negotiations among Senators Chuck Schumer, Joe Manchin, and Kyrsten Sinema, all Democrats.
The spirit of Trump’s complaint is that McConnell has been too willing to compromise with the left, most notably when Manchin’s infrastructure law passed with 19 Republican votes, one of them McConnell’s.
McConnell forced Democrats to raise the debt ceiling without a single Republican vote, FISM reported. However, the vote itself would not have been possible had Senate Republicans not agreed to allow the measure to pass or fail by a simple majority. The latter fact stands as the primary reason for Trump’s unhappiness over McConnell’s handling of the debt ceiling issue.
As of this writing, neither McConnell nor Chao, who served as Secretary of Transportation under Trump, had responded to Trump’s criticism.