McConnell Waves Off Trump Criticism, Suggests GOP Moving Ahead Without Ex-President (Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (Timothy D. Easley/AP)
Thursday, 29 April 2021 07:10 PM
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday dismissed comments from former President Donald Trump that the GOP needs a new Senate leader — suggesting the GOP is moving forward without Trump.
In an interview with Fox News, McConnell said the GOP is ''looking to the future, not the past.''
''And if you want to see the future of the Republican Party watch [South Carolina GOP Sen.] Tim Scott's response to President [Joe] Biden last night,'' he said.
But Trump doubled down on his hit at McConnell.
''I think we’re going to do very well. We need good leadership. Mitch McConnell has not done a great job, I think they should change Mitch McConnell,'' Trump told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo.
The pair have battled back and forth for months, the National Review noted.
McConnell told the former president in December he had recognized Biden as the president-elect and says he’s not spoken to Trump since.
The pair also clashed when McConnell called Trump’s actions leading up to the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol ''a disgraceful dereliction of duty.'' Though the GOP leader voted to acquit Trump on an article of impeachment accusing him of inciting an insurrection, he said Trump was ''practically and morally responsible for provoking'' the attack, the National Review noted.
Then in early April, Trump called McConnell a ''dumb son of a b****'' and a ''stone-cold loser'' during an off-script speech at a major Republican National Committee donor gathering.
''If that were Schumer instead of this dumb son of a b****, Mitch McConnell, they would never allow it to happen,'' Trump said at the time, according to The Washington Post, in reference to the certification of the 2020 election results.
On Thursday, McConnell said he’d support the party’s presidential nominee in 2024, even if Trump wins the nomination.
''Well, I’m going to support the nominee of the Republican Party. I do predict however that there’s going to be a robust competition for the nomination,'' he told Fox News. ''Once that all sorts itself out, as the Republican leader of the Senate obviously I’ll be supporting the Republican nominee for president.''
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