Trump turns up heat on Mitch McConnell criticism, says senator has a 'death wish'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Former President Donald Trump intensified his attacks on U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with a Friday evening social media post tying the Kentucky Republican to measures backed by Democrats and saying the senator has a "death wish."

Trump's comments, posted on his Truth Social platform, also mocked McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, calling her "his China loving wife, Coco Chow."

Chao, who served as Trump's secretary of transportation during his time in the White House, was born in Taiwan. Chao resigned after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

The Courier Journal reached out to McConnell's office but did not receive a response.

More: Who is Elaine Chao? Here's what to know about the former Transportation secretary

Sen. Mitch McConnell, with wife Elaine Chao beside him, gave his acceptance speech from the Omni Hotel in Louisville after defeating Democrat Amy McGrath in the 2020 election. McConnell is the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky in its history -- since 1985. Nov. 3, 2020

McConnell and Trump worked in tandem during Trump's presidency ― most notably to load the federal judiciary with conservative judges and appoint three like-minded justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, their relationship soured when McConnell said Trump was “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events” at the Capitol. Later, though, McConnell voted to acquit Trump of inciting the insurrection during Trump's second impeachment trial later in 2021.

Trump comments draw criticism

A swath of political observers denounced Trump’s use of a racial slur against Chao and said his statement about a McConnell “death wish” could be interpreted as a threat against the top Senate Republican.

Trump is “not even trying to hide the racism at this point. Just despicable,” tweeted Alyssa Farah Griffin, a White House communications director during the Trump presidency.

In another tweet, she said: “This isn’t some crazy person on the internet, this is the GOP front-runner for President if the Party doesn’t wake up & demand better.”

Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor emeritus and prominent critic of Trump, tweeted that the “death wish” comment “could easily be read by Trump’s combustible supporters as inviting assassination.”

McConnell backed government funding bill

Trump's Friday night post came shortly after President Joe Biden signed a funding bill that would keep the government operating until Dec. 16 and provide more funding for Ukraine and more assistance for communities battered by natural disasters.

McConnell supported the measure, which passed the Senate 72-25.

“Is McConnell approving all of these Trillions of Dollars worth of Democrat sponsored Bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J. Trump, and he knows I am strongly opposed to them, or is he doing it because he believes in the Fake and Highly Destructive Green New Deal, and is willing to take the Country down with him?” Trump wrote. “In any event, either reason is unacceptable. He has a DEATH WISH. Must immediately seek help and advise from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!”

McConnell has been critical of the Green New Deal since it was unveiled. The Democratic proposal focuses on fighting climate change and creating jobs. McConnell called it "a socialist fantasy to wreck our economy" in 2019.

Throughout Trump's regular and pointed criticism of McConnell and Chao, the senator has stayed mum. In August, Trump referred to McConnell as a "broken down hack" and said he was busy helping his wife "get rich on China."

Asked at the time by a Courier Journal reporter if he wanted to respond to those comments, McConnell gave a one-word answer: "No."

Reach Rob Byers at Follow him on Twitter: @RobertJByers.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Trump intensifies criticism of Kentucky senator, alleges Biden help