Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appears to not want to escalate a spat between him and former President Donald Trump and did not directly answer a question about critical comments Trump reportedly made about him during a speech.
Trump commented on McConnell’s leadership during a recent address to Republican donors over the past weekend, and weeks before that, Trump sharply criticized the Senate Republican leader in a statement.
When asked about the former president’s remarks, McConnell said, “What I’m concentrating on is the future.”
“What we are confronted with here is a totally left-wing administration with a slight majority in the House, a 50–50 Senate, trying to transform America into something no one voted for last year,” McConnell continued.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), gave Trump a “Champion of Freedom Award” at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida, resort.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, on Tuesday, said McConnell does not harbor any negative feelings against Trump and wants the spat to end.
“Right now, it’s sort of a one-sided thing. The leader has no animosity and he’s made it very clear he wants to work with the president to get the majority back,” Thune said Tuesday.
But several weeks ago, McConnell published an opinion article that criticized Trump for his election-fraud claims and said it was the reason why Republicans lost two Georgia Senate seats on Jan. 5.
“I wish he wouldn’t do it, but I don’t think there’s any way that you could change how he does things. I think we just have to adapt the best we can and stay focused on what are our objectives and that’s get the [Senate] majority back in 2022,” Thune said, according to The Hill. The South Dakota senator, who himself has been a target of Trump’s, said he’s “hoping the president and leader at some point can come to an understanding.”
“Everybody right now, including the leader, who is a target, is saying we are more interested in focusing our ire on the Democrats, who with their policies are doing great harm to the country and these Republican family feuds aren’t helpful, aren’t constructive,” Thune said. “The leader is saying the president is blowing off steam and we’ll live to fight in 2022 and hopefully with the team all on the same page.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Trump’s team for comment.