Trump: 'Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party'

·3 min read

Former President Donald Trump lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday, a day after McConnell issued a strong rebuke to the Republican National Committee for its attempt to reframe the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol as "legitimate political discourse."

“Let me give you my view on what happened on Jan. 6. We were all here," McConnell said on Tuesday. "It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election.”

The blunt assessment from McConnell, one of the most powerful Republicans in Washington, drew a lengthy statement from Trump.

The former president railed against McConnell and President Biden alike, repeating his false claim that the 2020 election was stolen. Trump’s debunked election conspiracy theories were the basis for the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the assault on the Capitol that day.

"Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party, and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters," Trump said. "He did nothing to fight for his constituents and stop the most fraudulent election in American history. And he does nothing to stop the lawless Biden Administration, the invasion of our Borders, rising Inflation, Unconstitutional mandates, the persecution of political opponents, fact finding on the incompentent [sic] Afghanistan withdrawal, the giving away our energy independence, etc., which is all because of the fraudulent election. Instead, he bails out the Radical Left and the RINOs.

"If Mitch would have fought for the election, like the Democrats would have if in the same position, we would not be discussing any of the above today, and our Country would be STRONG and PROUD instead of weak and embarrassed," Trump added.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., at a microphone surrounded by four people.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell addresses a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

On Friday, the RNC voted to censure Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., for their participation in the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 mob attack, which attempted to disrupt and overturn Congress’s certification of Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. The RNC measure, however, downplayed the violent events of Jan. 6.

"Cheney and Kinzinger are participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse," the resolution adopted by the RNC reads.

McConnell's criticism of the RNC stood in stark contrast to the response of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who insisted that the term "legitimate political discourse" referred to subpoenas issued by the committee to six RNC members who were not at the Capitol on the day of the assault.

The text of the RNC resolution, though, does not include that detail.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the RNC's statement — and McCarthy's tepid response — is evidence that the GOP has been "hijacked" by Trump loyalists who are too scared to cross him.

"Take back your party from this cult," Pelosi said at her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. "America needs a strong Republican Party."

McConnell is not the only prominent Republican to speak out against the Jan. 6 narrative being pushed by Trump and his supporters.

Last week, former Vice President Mike Pence said Trump was wrong to claim that Pence had the authority to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

“President Trump is wrong,” Pence said in a speech to the conservative Federalist Society in Florida. “I had no right to overturn the election.”