Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican Leader, has been tight-lipped about his strained relationship with former President Donald Trump, even among his own fellow Republicans, The Hill reports.
According to the senators, McConnell, who prides himself on his discipline and ability to stay on message, has said nothing in large or small meetings with GOP peers in responding to a new book implying that he felt “exhilarated” about the possibility that Trump would destroy his career in politics by instigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.
He has also been silent among his colleagues regarding his reaction to reports that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was about to urge the former president to quit before going back on his word and publicly apologizing to Trump.
McCarthy rushed to manage the political impact of the book by calling Trump to tell him that he was faithful and then calling his House Republican peers to convince them that his connection with Trump was still fine.
McConnell, on the other hand, hasn’t felt compelled to try to contain the damage, partially due to his relationship with Trump being as strained as it can be, and he doesn’t see it as a barrier to his re-election as Senate Republican leader after the 2022 midterm elections, according to GOP senators.
“There was no mention of McCarthy, or Trump” at McConnell’s talks with fellow Republicans this week, according to the congressman, whose testimony was corroborated by two other Republican senators.
Instead, McConnell focused on “the matters at hand,” including a series of motions instructing a Senate-House conference settlement on the US Innovation and Competition Act and the US reaction to Russia’s assault on Ukraine, according to the senator.
McConnell’s refusal to speak on his connection with Trump, according to another GOP senator who sought anonymity to discuss the approach, will not affect McConnell’s re-election as GOP leader following the November election.
“He doesn’t need to” say anything, the senator said, because he doesn’t need Trump’s support to keep his leadership post, The Hill quoted him.
If Biden, the 79-year-old incumbent, runs for president again, GOP legislators believe Trump has a decent chance of gaining the GOP nomination and defeating him.
If Trump is the party’s nominee in 2024, McConnell has simply stated that he will “definitely” back him.