Former President Donald Trump released a scathing statement Tuesday afternoon targeting Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell.
Trump, once an ally of the Kentucky Republican, rebuked McConnell using terms harsher than those of most Democrats.
Naming McConnell a "dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack," Trump said that the GOP would "never again be respected or strong" with McConnell at its helm.
McConnell has said Trump bears responsibility for the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot and suggested he voted not to convict Trump on an impeachment count of inciting the riot only because he is no longer president.
Trump, in his statement, said that Democrats and Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. plays "McConnell like a fiddle" and blamed McConnell for the GOP's Senate losses in Georgia for not offering big enough stimulus checks.
"In 'Mitch’s Senate,' over the last two election cycles, I single-handedly saved at least 12 Senate seats, more than eight in the 2020 cycle alone—and then came the Georgia disaster, where we should have won both U.S. Senate seats, but McConnell matched the Democrat offer of $2,000 stimulus checks with $600."
Trump also insisted that Republicans lost in Georgia because they hadn't maintained election integrity. "Many Republicans in Georgia voted Democrat, or just didn’t vote, because of their anguish at their inept Governor, Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and the Republican Party, for not doing its job on Election Integrity during the 2020 Presidential race."
The former president repeated a claim sometimes proffered by McConnell's opponents that the senator is soft on China because he has business ties in the country through his Taiwanese wife, Elaine Chao, Trump's former Transportation Secretary. "McConnell has no credibility on China because of his family’s substantial Chinese business holdings. He does nothing on this tremendous economic and military threat," Trump wrote.
Trump and McConnell found themselves at odds in the aftermath of the 2020 election, when McConnell urged his colleagues to vote to certify the election for President Biden as Trump continued to assert that the election had been stolen from him.
Trump promised to back primary rivals against McConnell "where necessary and appropriate."
McConnell eviscerated the former president on the Senate floor Saturday, after voting to acquit him in the impeachment trial. He argued the Senate didn't have the Constitutional authority to convict a private citizen, but left the door open for a criminal trial.
McConnell said the attack "was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth."
"President Trump is still liable for everything he did while in office," McConnell continued. "He didn't get away with anything yet. We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation."
He came for the president again on Monday in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.
"There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility. His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s largest megaphone. His behavior during and after the chaos was also unconscionable, from attacking Vice President Mike Pence during the riot to praising the criminals after it ended," McConnell wrote.
A source close to the former president tells Fox News the statement sent out this afternoon was meant to be a direct response to McConnell’s Wall Street Journal piece.
The same source denies a report that Trump was considering making a statement about the matter on camera
Trump's full statement is below:
The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political "leaders" like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm. McConnell’s dedication to business as usual, status quo policies, together with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality, has rapidly driven him from Majority Leader to Minority Leader, and it will only get worse. The Democrats and Chuck Schumer play McConnell like a fiddle—they’ve never had it so good—and they want to keep it that way! We know our America First agenda is a winner, not McConnell’s Beltway First agenda or Biden’s America Last.
In 2020, I received the most votes of any sitting President in history, almost 75,000,000. Every incumbent House Republican won for the first time in decades, and we flipped 15 seats, almost costing Nancy Pelosi her job. Republicans won majorities in at least 59 of the 98 partisan legislative chambers, and the Democrats failed to flip a single legislative chamber from red to blue. And in "Mitch’s Senate," over the last two election cycles, I single-handedly saved at least 12 Senate seats, more than eight in the 2020 cycle alone—and then came the Georgia disaster, where we should have won both U.S. Senate seats, but McConnell matched the Democrat offer of $2,000 stimulus checks with $600. How does that work? It became the Democrats’ principal advertisement, and a big winner for them it was. McConnell then put himself, one of the most unpopular politicians in the United States, into the advertisements. Many Republicans in Georgia voted Democrat, or just didn’t vote, because of their anguish at their inept Governor, Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and the Republican Party, for not doing its job on Election Integrity during the 2020 Presidential race.
It was a complete election disaster in Georgia, and certain other swing states. McConnell did nothing, and will never do what needs to be done in order to secure a fair and just electoral system into the future. He doesn’t have what it takes, never did, and never will.
My only regret is that McConnell "begged" for my strong support and endorsement before the great people of Kentucky in the 2020 election, and I gave it to him. He went from one point down to 20 points up, and won. How quickly he forgets. Without my endorsement, McConnell would have lost, and lost badly. Now, his numbers are lower than ever before, he is destroying the Republican side of the Senate, and in so doing, seriously hurting our Country.
Likewise, McConnell has no credibility on China because of his family’s substantial Chinese business holdings. He does nothing on this tremendous economic and military threat.
Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again. He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country. Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership.
Prior to the pandemic, we produced the greatest economy and jobs numbers in the history of our Country, and likewise, our economic recovery after Covid was the best in the world. We cut taxes and regulations, rebuilt our military, took care of our Vets, became energy independent, built the wall and stopped the massive inflow of illegals into our Country, and so much more. And now, illegals are pouring in, pipelines are being stopped, taxes will be going up, and we will no longer be energy independent.
This is a big moment for our country, and we cannot let it pass by using third rate "leaders" to dictate our future!