Speed Reads

McConnell vs trump

GOP operatives say McConnell isn't interested in fighting with Trump, wants to focus on winning in 2022

When it comes to former President Donald Trump versus Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Republican operatives have no idea how far their feud will go.

McConnell holds Trump responsible for Republicans losing the Senate, The Washington Post reports, and Trump is still smarting from McConnell saying publicly that he holds him "practically and morally responsible" for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Trump released a statement on Tuesday that went for the jugular, calling McConnell a "dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack."

On Wednesday, the Post interviewed 10 Republicans close to McConnell and Trump, who said the men couldn't be more different. "The contrast is pretty simple: Mitch McConnell doesn't care about being liked, he cares about winning," Steven Law, president of the Senate Leadership Fund super PAC, told the Post. "Donald Trump cares about being liked; he cares much less about winning."

McConnell wants to focus on picking apart Democratic policies and finding strong Republican candidates for future elections, the Post reports, with people close to him saying he is not interested in a constant back and forth with the former president. Some Trump associates are pushing him to do what he can to get McConnell out of his leadership role, but others have told him he needs to stop going after McConnell, because it's a bad look for both of them. Trump disagrees, the Post reports, telling them he is making his supporters happy and getting good TV coverage.

Even though McConnell wants to move on, people close to him say his thirst for power is so strong that he would be willing to reach an agreement with Trump if it meant he'd be back in control of the Senate. "If you told Mitch McConnell that every single day he'd receive a love letter from Donald Trump excoriating his physical appearance and ultimately he ended up with the majority in 2022, he'd take the deal in a heartbeat," former aide Josh Holmes told the Post.