Trump Slams McConnell for Reportedly Pulling Funds From Arizona Senate Race (Newsmax)
By Jay Clemons | Monday, 10 October 2022 09:25 PM EDT
Former President Donald Trump took a public shot at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. on Monday, criticizing the Kentucky Republican for bolstering the reelection campaign of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, by reportedly diverting funds away from Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters.
“The Old Broken Crow, Mitchell McConnell, is authorizing $9 Million Dollars to be spent in order to beat a great Republican, Kelly [Tshibaka], instead of $9 Million Dollars that could be used for Blake Masters, and other Republicans, that with this money would beat their Democrat opponent," wrote Trump in a statement, posted on Truth Social.
In a nutshell, Trump presumably doesn't think it's wise to pull campaign funds from Masters' battle with incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz. — a typical Republican vs. Democrat competition for the Nov. 8 midterm elections. After all, in Alaska, the top two candidates for the Senate seat are both Republicans — the incumbent Murkowski, and the Trump-backed challenger Tshibaka.
Masters and Tshibaka have already garnered Trump endorsements; and Murkowski voted to convict in Trump's second impeachment trial, which covered from the Jan. 6, 2021 unrest at the Capitol.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, the Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican PAC with ties to McConnell, funded radio, TV, and Web ads in Alaska, knocking Tshibaka's credibility as a candidate over Murkowski.
McConnell has been a target of criticism from within the Republican ranks in recent months.
As Newsmax chronicled in August, McConnell seemingly dismissed the "candidate quality" of certain GOP Senate contenders, while hinting that Republicans could fall short of taking back the Senate in the midterms.
It might have also been a subtle jab at Trump, whose stable of endorsement Senate challengers includes Masters (Arizona), Tshibaka (Alaska), JD Vance (Ohio), state Attorney General Eric Schmitt (Missouri), Katie Britt (Alabama), Dr. Mehmet Oz (Pennsylvania), and Herschel Walker (Georgia).
"I think there's probably a greater likelihood the House flips [to Republicans] than the Senate," McConnell said during the summer. "Senate races are just different. They're statewide. Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome."
That comment sparked outrage from Republican voters and leaders, including Trump, who called for McConnell to be replaced in the Senate leadership, in favor of someone who would project confidence for the upcoming election cycles.
The current Senate comprises of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, which means the Masters-Kelly battle in Arizona could tip the scales of party control.