Former President Donald Trump made his mark in politics by fearlessly opposing the establishment on either side of the aisle. Now he’s set his sights on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Trump has been critical of McConnell and is calling for his ouster from leadership over supporting key Democratic legislation, The Washington Examiner reported. Outwardly, the Kentucky Republican remains unphased though Trump is still influential in the GOP.
McConnell insisted in an interview with the news outlet that Trump’s nickname for him, “Old Crow,” was actually a compliment. “It’s my favorite bourbon,” he said of a product distilled by Beam Suntory.
The animosity between the two politicians stems from McConnell’s unwillingness to support Trump after he made claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. McConnell went ahead and certified election results.
Since then, Trump has had it in for McConnell’s job as head of the Republicans in the Senate. However, Trump has a point with the issues of late, including McConnell’s willingness to raise the debt ceiling rather than face a government shutdown.
“The only people who could have been hurt by making the debt ceiling impossible would have been us,” McConnell claimed. “My guiding principle is: Don’t do things that are stupid and that take the subject off of what we want it to be on,” he explained.
“The two things we could have done [in 2021] to take the attention off [the Democrats] and put it on us would be to shut down the government or threaten to default on the national debt. You can’t do that to the country either,” McConnell added. “If it’s bad for the country and bad for Republicans, I’m against it.”
While there are no calls yet for the Kentucky Republican to step down, Trump has a way of giving a movement momentum. McConnell caved to Democrats’ demands and played politics as usual — and Trump is willing to call him out on it.