President Trump on Saturday laid into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a Republican National Committee donor retreat, reportedly referring to him as a “dumb son of a b*tch.”
The Mar-a-Lago event was met with mixed reviews since he publicly called for unity in the Republican Party but then went off-script in his 50-minute speech to attack McConnell and others over the election certification on Jan. 6.
“If that were Schumer instead of this dumb son of a bitch Mitch McConnell, they would never allow it to happen. They would have fought it,” he said, reports The Washington Post.
Trump spent much of the speech, with many senators in the room, lashing into his former ally in personal terms, often to cheers from the party’s top donors. He falsely claimed that he won the Senate election for McConnell in Kentucky and attacked his wife, Elaine Chao, who served as Trump’s transportation secretary.
“I hired his wife. Did he ever say thank you?” Trump said. He then mocked Chao for resigning in response to the Jan. 6 events and Trump’s behavior that day.
“She suffered so greatly,” he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. He later called McConnell a “stone cold loser.” A McConnell spokesman declined to comment. (WaPo)
He also said he was “disappointed” by former Vice President Mike Pence for failing to do more to stop the certification of the election.
“I wish that Mike Pence had the courage to send it back to the legislatures. . . . I like him so much. I was so disappointed,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post.
Republicans had mixed reactions to the speech.
“We are much better off if we keep focusing on the Democrats. Period,” Gingrich reportedly said when he left Palm Beach on Sunday.
South Dakota Sen. Tom Thune, meanwhile, said the speech was typical of Trump's style.
“I think a lot of that rhetoric is — you know, it’s part of the style and tone that comes with the former president,” Thune said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But I think he and Mitch McConnell have a common goal, and that is getting the majority back in 2022. And in the end, hopefully that will be the thing that unites us, because if we want to defeat and succeed against the Democrats and get that majority back, that’s the best way to do it.”
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told CNN’s “State of the Union" it would've been better to focus on party unity.
“Anything that's divisive is a concern and is not helpful for us fighting the battles in Washington and at the state level,” he said. “In some ways, it's not a big deal, what he said, but, at the same time, whenever it draws attention, we don't need that. We need unity.”
This was not the first time Trump publicly attacked McConnell. In February, he released a long statement excoriating the Senate minority leader, arguing the GOP will never be “respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm.”