Trump criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after his comments about the GOP Senate races.
Trump has claimed that McConnell and his wife’s business ties to China are inappropriate.
The former president also called for the longtime GOP Senate leader to be replaced.
Former President Donald Trump continued to attack Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling for a new Senate Republican leader.
“Democrats have Mitch McConnell and his wonderful wife, Elaine ‘Coco’ Chao, over a barrel,” Trump said in a statement sent out by the Save America PAC.
His comments came after McConnell said last week that the GOP could have a tough time in Senate races in the midterm elections this fall.
“I think there’s probably a better chance of overturning the House than the Senate,” McConnell said Thursday last week, according to NBC News reporter Frank Thorp V. “Senate races are just different, they’re statewide, the quality of the candidates has a lot to do with the outcome.”
Trump’s statement on Wednesday accused McConnell of being a “pawn for the Democrats.”
“Mitch McConnell is not the leader of the opposition, he is a pawn for the Democrats to get what they want. He is afraid of them and will not do what needs to be done. A new Senate Republican leader should be elected immediately!” said Trump.
It is unclear whether Senate Republicans will heed Trump’s calls to replace McConnell. The longtime Kentucky senator has led his party in the chamber since 2007, making him the longest-serving Republican leader in Senate history.
But Trump has successfully wielded his power to remove GOP congressional leadership in the past. In May 2021, Rep. Liz Cheney was ousted from her role as the number three Republican in the House after incurring Trump’s ire. Cheney blamed Trump for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and ignored pressure to stop talking about the riot and lying about the 2020 election. Rep. Elise Stefanik, whom Trump had praised after embracing his campaign claims , replaced her as Chairman of the House Republican Conference.
Trump also went after McConnell on Saturday, criticizing him for saying GOP Senate candidates were weak and saying he should focus on helping them get elected and spend “less time helping his crazy wife and his family to get rich in China”.
Chao previously served as Trump’s transportation secretary, but quickly resigned after the rebellion on Capitol Hill. He is also believed to have spoken to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack.
McConnell and Chao have business ties in China — a shipping company owned by Chao’s family that moves goods to and from the region. A Department of Transportation watchdog last year accused Chao of using agency resources to promote her family’s business.
Trump, citing an article in the far-right magazine The Federalist, said McConnell and Chao “will never be prosecuted” because of the former’s status as Senate minority leader.
McConnell has said he will continue to support a Trump presidential bid in 2024, despite his talk.
McConnell did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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