Election Day brought some early and disquieting news for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: He will be constantly cowed by Donald Trump if Senate Republicans retake the majority.
Speaking to Fox News Digital Tuesday on his plane, Trump said McConnell would be out of a job if he won the White House again. Trump went on to endorse Sen. Rick Scott of Florida as a “very talented guy to replace” McConnell.
Trump’s remarks follow on his suggestion last Friday that McConnell’s GOP colleagues ought to “impeach” him if he lets another debt-ceiling deal go through.
McConnell was also the subject of remarks by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia at a Sioux City, Iowa, rally for Sen. Chuck Grassley.
“Republicans are going to have to be the new Republican Party,” Greene said. “We can no longer be the party of Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Dick Cheney, George Bush and Mitt Romney … or any other sell-out, weak Republican.”
Sandwiched in between the barbs from Greene and Trump was a weekend appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press in which Sen. Scott declined to endorse McConnell for GOP leader and refused to rule out challenging McConnell for the post.
Asked if he’s considering running for leader if Republicans retake Congress, Scott dodged, “I’m not focused on anything except getting a majority Tuesday night.”
Just in: Trump in an interview with Fox News Digital on Trump Force One says if he is elected president, Mitch McConnell will be out as Senate leader and endorses Sen. Rick Scott as a “very talented guy to replace him.”
Scott clearly would rather run for president, but the chances of him taking on Trump are zilch. So if Trump runs, which is basically a foregone conclusion, challenging McConnell for the leadership post would be a decent consolation prize.
In fact, Scott’s been getting in McConnell’s grill for a while now. Early this year, as McConnell sought to shroud the GOP agenda in secrecy, Scott unilaterally decided to release an 11-point plan that included raising taxes on tens of millions of Americans and sunsetting Social Security and Medicare.
McConnell immediately tried to distance the GOP caucus from Scott’s plan, saying they had no plans to raise taxes or sunset Medicare and Social Security.
But McConnell may not be the one driving the Senate GOP bus. Scott has a lot of bloated-ego ambition that he needs to direct somewhere, and there are few people besides Liz Cheney that Trump would like to kneecap more than McConnell.
For a long time, McConnell has underestimated the threat Trump posed to himself, the party, and the country (not that McConnell ever cared much about the latter). When McConnell had the chance to find the 17 Senate Republican votes necessary to impeach Trump over Jan. 6, he failed. A book released last year later revealed that McConnell had fancifully called Trump a “fading brand” and believed the party was trending away from him.
McConnell still believes he has the votes to clinch the leadership post if Senate Republicans prevail this week. But Trump is coming for him with Scott as his willing accomplice, and McConnell has routinely misjudged where the power center of the GOP truly resides.
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