- McConnell refused to respond to attacks from Trump, who called him a “dumb son of a b—-.”
- Trump criticized his former ally in a lengthy speech on Saturday at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
- McConnell, for his part, said his focus is on Biden’s “totally left-wing administration.”
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to respond to attacks from former President Donald Trump, who called him a “dumb son of a b—-” over the weekend.
Reporters pressed the Kentucky Republican on Tuesday for a reaction to Trump’s lengthy criticism of him during an hour-long speech at a political event on Saturday at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Besides the expletive-filled comment, Trump also slammed McConnell as a “stone-cold loser” for accepting the 2020 presidential election results, which the former president repeatedly sought to overturn based on false claims that the race was “rigged” and “stolen.”
Yet McConnell did not appear fazed by Trump’s rebuke. He dodged the question and pivoted to criticize President Joe Biden.
“What I’m concentrating on is the future,” McConnell said Tuesday at Senate Republican leadership news conference. “What we are confronting here is a totally left-wing administration.”
“That’s what I’m concentrating on,” he added.
—Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 13, 2021
McConnell also refused to weigh in the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s decision last weekend to give Trump the “Champion for Freedom Award” for working “tirelessly to create good jobs, protect the values that make our country great, and stop the Democrats’ socialist agenda.”
The NRSC Chairman, Republican Sen. Tim Scott of Florida, who presented the award to Trump also accompanied McConnell at Tuesday’s briefing.
McConnell similarly did not reply to Capitol Hill reporters who asked him about the topic on Monday.
Once close allies, McConnell and Trump’s relationship soured toward the end of his administration as the former president began to spread unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was rife with voter fraud.
Trump grew angry with the Republican leader when he acknowledged Biden’s win in mid-December, and the feud worsened after the Capitol insurrection on January 6.
McConnell ripped into Trump on the day of the deadly attack, and later blamed him for feeding his supporters “lies” that “provoked” them to breach the Capitol. Ultimately, however, McConnell voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial in which he was charged with “incitement of insurrection.”
Since leaving office, Trump has vowed to exact revenge on McConnell and other Republicans he has perceived as wrongfully turning against him.
Senate Republicans are concerned about the fractured ties between McConnell and Trump and want to see them mend their relationship, Politico reported on Monday.