Politics

Trump, in Scorching Attack on McConnell, Urges G.O.P. to Replace Him

Former President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday made a slashing and lengthy attack on Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, calling him a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” and arguing that the party would suffer losses in the future if he remained in charge.

“If Republican senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again,” Mr. Trump said.

The 600-word statement, coming three days after the Senate acquitted him in his second impeachment trial, was trained solely on Mr. McConnell and sought to paint Mr. Trump as the best leader of the G.O.P. going forward.

The statement did not include any sign of contrition from Mr. Trump for his remarks to a crowd of supporters who then attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. Nor did it include any acknowledgment of his role during the violent hours in which his own vice president and members of Congress were under threat from the mob of Trump supporters.

Rather, Mr. Trump chose to focus on Mr. McConnell as he broke an unusually lengthy silence by his standards, after being permanently barred from his formerly favorite medium — Twitter — last month because of tweets that he posted during the Capitol riot.

Mr. McConnell’s office declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s attacks on Tuesday, but the senator has left little mystery about his contempt for the former president. Shortly after he joined the majority of Republican senators on Saturday in voting to acquit Mr. Trump on the House impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection,” Mr. McConnell excoriated Mr. Trump, laying the blame for the deadly riot at his feet and suggesting that further investigations of the former president could play out in the judicial system.

“There is no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” Mr. McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor on Saturday.

The Trump Impeachment ›

What You Need to Know

    • A trial was held to decide whether former President Donald J. Trump is guilty of inciting a deadly mob of his supporters when they stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, violently breaching security measures and sending lawmakers into hiding as they met to certify President Biden’s victory.
    • The House voted 232 to 197 to approve a single article of impeachment, accusing Mr. Trump of “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in his quest to overturn the election results. Ten Republicans joined the Democrats in voting to impeach him.
    • The Senate acquitted Mr. Trump of the charges by a vote of 57 to 43, falling short of the two-thirds majority required for a conviction.
    • Without a conviction, the former president is eligible to run for public office once again. Public opinion surveys show that he remains by far the most popular national figure in the Republican Party.

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