Donald Trump declared open war on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday. Hitherto very discreet since his departure from the White House, the 45th President of the United States has cracked a rare statement, scathing, to mark the rupture, emblematic of the divisions that are tearing Republicans apart.
“Mitch is a sullen, sullen politician who never smiles and if Republican senators stay with him, they won’t win anymore,” wrote the ex-president, who presents himself as the best asset for his party to regain control of the Congress in 2022. And does not rule out representing itself in 2024.
More than 200 conservative justices appointed by the Senate, including three to the Supreme Court, or tax reform, Donald Trump’s rare legislative success: the billionaire has yet worked hand in hand with the senator from Kentucky, a skilled strategist, for four years.
“The Republican Party can never be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Mitch McConnell at the helm,” insisted the real estate mogul. And to blame the senator for the shock loss of the majority in the upper house in January. For other Republican officials, it is on the contrary he who undermined the participation of his voters in two crucial senatorial elections at the beginning of January, by denouncing for months, without providing any evidence, “massive fraud” electoral for the presidential election.
Elaine Chao targeted
In another mind-blowing attack, the real estate mogul claims Mitch McConnell “has no credibility on China because of his family’s considerable Chinese business interests.”
The senator’s wife, Taiwan-born Elaine Chao, served as Donald Trump’s transport minister for almost his four-year term. She was targeted in September 2019 by a parliamentary investigation, suspected of having taken advantage of her position to promote the interests of a shipping company belonging to her family, in particular to the Chinese government.
The first salvo from Mitch McConnell
Accused by the Democrats of “incitement to insurgency”, Donald Trump was tried last week in the Senate for these facts in a historic trial. On Saturday, senators were a majority – 57 out of 100 – to vote for his conviction. Including, unprecedentedly, seven Republicans. But it would have taken two-thirds of the upper house (67 votes) to reach a guilty verdict. In the House, ten Republicans voted with Democrats in favor of his impeachment.
Mitch McConnell, him, voted for acquittal, because he considered that the upper house was not competent to judge a former president. But in the process, he declared Donald Trump “responsible” for the assault.
The rioters acted “the most powerful man on the planet had fed them with lies,” he said in the room, noting that “only President Trump” could have stopped the crowd. And to let go, indignant: “Instead, he watched TV, happy … happy during the chaos.” Then he had taken care to point out that, having become “a simple citizen” again, the businessman could be prosecuted: “He has not yet escaped anything”.
And no question of giving him his hand in the next elections, said Mitch McConnell, assuring that it is he who would weigh on the choice of Republican candidates. “Some may be people the ex-president loves. Others may not. The only thing that matters to me is that they can win, ”he told Politico.
Two camps among the republicans
Do a clean sweep of the Trump era or swear loyalty to the billionaire to win? Since January 6, the knives have been drawn to the Republican party. While the veteran of the Senate marks the break, others publicly court the billionaire, even in his luxurious residence in Florida.
The leader of the Republican minority in the House, Kevin McCarthy, was photographed all smiles in the golden salons of Mar-a-Lago at the end of January.
And Senator Lindsey Graham, loyal among the faithful, proudly proclaimed Sunday that he would visit him this week: the ex-president remains the “most powerful force” in the Republican party, he declared on Fox. The “Trump movement is in great shape.”