President Donald Trump criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in an interview released Monday urging Republicans to find better leadership.
“I think we need better leadership than Mitch McConnell and stronger leadership,” Trump said. “I mean he can’t reign in his own people.”
The former president spoke about McConnell in a podcast interview with Fox News host Lisa Boothe.
When Boothe asked Trump if he had talked with McConnell, he replied, “Not really, I don’t really want to talk to him.”
Trump warned McConnell was in danger, as Democrats were preparing to end the filibuster rule requiring 60 votes in the Senate to move forward on legislation.
“He’s hanging by a thread right now with respect to the filibuster,” Trump said.
Trump said Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) would ultimately side with those who wanted to end the filibuster, despite vocally promising to defend it.
“Joe talks but he always ends up going with the Democrats,” Trump said, adding, about the filibuster, “If they knock it out, it will be catastrophic for the Republican party.”
Trump recalled that when he was president, he urged McConnell to eliminate the filibuster rule and made the case at the time that Democrats would do it if they ever seized power.
“If they’re going to knock it out maybe we should and get everything that we want,” he recalled telling McConnell when he was president.
At the time, Trump recalled, McConnell refused to budge on the issue assuring him that Democrats would never end the filibuster rule.
“He said, ‘They’ll never knock it out; it’ll never happen. They’ll never do it; they don’t want to do it,'” Trump said, claiming McConnell now admitted he was right.
The former president said he would be very engaged in the 2022 midterm elections, but warned Republicans he would likely not support senators like Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who faces reelection in Alaska.
“Murkowski is bad news,” Trump said.
He also berated Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), even though he is not up for reelection until 2026.
“A guy like Ben Sasse, little Ben Sasse, he’s a disaster for the party,” Trump said.
Trump recalled Sasse was “so nice” to him for two years in order to get his endorsement but turned on him almost immediately.
“What happened, he gets the nomination and after he gets the nomination, he gets a little bit sassy again. The guy’s a loser,” Trump said.
But Trump said he could support Republicans who were even “a little bit off-color” in their statements about him as long as they voted the right way.
Democrats, he said, were destroying the country, on issues like the Second Amendment, voting security, border security, and energy policy.
“We got to fight like hell, these are very bad people in many cases,” Trump said.
He appeared optimistic about the future of the party and its ability to win back power in upcoming elections.
“It think we’re going to very well in ’22 and I think we’re going to do very well in ’24,” he said.