Former President Donald Trump insulted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel, deriding him as a “dumb son of a bitch” at a Republican National Committee donor retreat Saturday evening in which he called for GOP unity but also blamed party leaders for not helping him overturn the presidential election. Trump spoke in front of GOP donors and Republican leaders, including several senators, at Mar-a-Lago and seemed to suggest that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer would have been better at fighting for Trump if they had been members of the same party. “If that were Schumer instead of this dumb son of a bitch Mitch McConnell they would never allow it to happen. They would have fought it,” Trump said referring to the certification of the election results on Jan. 6, according to the Washington Post.
Trump didn’t just leave it there, he spent a significant chunk of his almost hour-long speech personally attacking McConnell to the delight of the audience that enthusiastically applauded his insults. He called the Senate Republican leader a “stone cold loser” at one point and even targeted his wife, Elaine Chao, who was his transportation secretary. “I hired his wife. Did he ever say thank you?” Trump said. He went on to mock her for resigning her post after the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
Although aides had hoped Trump would talk about his presidency, the former commander in chief spent much of his speech repeating lies about how the election was stolen from him. And it wasn’t just a general complaint, Trump went into details about the results in certain states, making clear how the issue continues to eat away at him. The former president called the election “bullshit” at one point and criticized Vice President Mike Pence for certifying the election. “I wish that Mike Pence had the courage to send it back to the legislatures … I like him so much. I was so disappointed,” Trump said.
Even as he insulted party leaders, Trump also called for unity and complained that Democrats are better at sticking together than Republicans. He vowed to help the party win the House and Senate next year but didn’t address his own plans only expressing confidence that a Republican will win in 2024. Trump spoke as part of a three-day event that drew several potential presidential contenders. And his presence, coupled with his continuing combative stance, served as “a reminder of the continuing tensions and schisms roiling the GOP,” notes the New York Times.
This was not the first time Trump has gone after McConnell since leaving office. In February, Trump harshly criticized McConnell in a statement, characterizing him as a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack.” That came after McConnell publicly criticized Trump on the floor of the Senate for his role in the Jan. 6 riot.