© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US President Trump hosts meeting to discuss coronavirus aid legislation at White House in Washington
By David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump continued his attack on U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday, saying Republicans would do well to find a new leader if they hope to retake the Senate in 2022.
Trump launched the latest salvo on Fox Business Network, when his interviewer asked about the upcoming midterm election battle for control of the Senate and House of Representatives.
“We need good leadership. Mitch McConnell didn’t do a great job. I think they should change Mitch McConnell,” said the former president.
McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Kentucky Republican has led his unopposed Senate caucus since 2007.
Bad blood between Trump and McConnell could complicate matters for Republicans as they attempt to reclaim a majority in the Senate, with voters and lawmakers divided between Trump’s loyalists and the mainstream party.
Democrats took control of the Senate in January by winning two seats in Georgia, after Trump stirred up divisions by pushing the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him and attacking Republican state officials for not having canceled the results.
The 100-seat Senate is currently split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris wielding the deciding vote. But Democrats are well aware that the party that controls the White House historically loses seats in Congress in the first election of a presidency.
McConnell drew Trump’s ire by acknowledging that President Joe Biden won and blaming Trump for the deadly Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol after the Senate acquitted the former president on incitement to insurgency.
Less than a month ago, Trump called McConnell a “son of a bitch” at a dinner for Republican National Committee donors at his club in Mar-a-Lago, according to an attendee.
McConnell has not responded to Trump’s attacks and rarely refers to the former president in public remarks.
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