Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Mitch McConnell (left), Donald Trump
Donald Trump is turning up the heat in his latest feud with the top Republican in the U.S. Senate — and his wife.
“Mitch McConnell is not an Opposition Leader, he is a pawn for the Democrats to get whatever they want,” Trump said in a statement Wednesday. “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 call to replace the Republicans’ longest-serving leader in history comes not long after the former president criticized McConnell for what he believes is his lack of support for the GOP’s 2022 midterm candidates.
“Why do Republican Senators allow a broken down hack politician, Mitch McConnell, to openly disparage hard-working Republican candidates for the United States Senate?” Trump wrote Saturday on Truth Social. He also called McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, who served in the Trump administration as secretary of transportation, “crazy” in the post.
In his latest attack, Trump referred to a story that appeared Wednesday in the conservative publication The Federalist about Chao’s alleged ties to China. The article cites a report from the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General on an ethics investigation into the former Trump administration official.
“The Democrats have Mitch McConnell and his lovely wife, Elaine ‘Coco’ Chao, over a barrel,” the former president wrote. “He and she will never be prosecuted, as per the last paragraphs of this story, as long as he continues to give the Radical Left the Trillions and Trillions of Dollars that they constantly DEMAND.”
Drew Angerer/Getty Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump together in 2017
Trump is blaming McConnell for failing to prevent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act — Democrats’ wide-ranging economic package that includes climate, health care and tax legislation — as well as President Joe Biden‘s student loan debt relief plan which provides up to either $10,000 or $20,000 in loan forgiveness for people making less than $125,000 per year.
“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,” Trump wrote. “These expenditures are something our Country can never recover from.”
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Trump’s issues with McConnell are not new. The former president previously called for a new Republican to lead in the Senate more than a year ago, predicting Republicans could lose in the 2022 midterms if they stick with McConnell, whom Trump has dubbed an “Old Crow.”
Last week, McConnell cited “candidate quality” in suggesting Republicans’ chances of taking control of the Senate in the November midterms have diminished. Though he didn’t mention any Senate hopefuls by name, multiple news outlets pointed to struggling Trump-backed candidates like Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Herschel Walker in Georgia and others as those McConnell was likely referencing in his comments.