- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 11, 2021

Former President Donald Trump slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Vice President Mike Pence over the weekend for giving up too easily on Republicans’ fight to overturn the 2020 election results.

In a speech to Republican donors, Mr. Trump referred to Mr. McConnell as a “stone cold loser” at one point, according to multiple reports.

“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,” Mr. Trump said of Congress’ vote to certify the election results on Jan. 6.

The former president was speaking over the weekend to a national Republican gathering at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida as the GOP gears up for the 2022 midterm elections.

Mr. Trump praised the people who attended his Jan. 6 rally on the National Mall that took place shortly before a mob of pro-Trump supporters overran the U.S. Capitol to try to block the certification of the election results.

He also mocked Elaine Chao, the former transportation secretary who is married to Mr. McConnell, for resigning over the events of Jan. 6.

SEE ALSO: John Boehner laments Donald Trump’s criticism of Mitch McConnell

Mr. McConnell’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the remarks.

Mr. Trump said he was disappointed in Mr. Pence for not doing enough to block the certification of the election results.

“I wish that Mike Pence had the courage to send it back to the legislatures. … I like him so much. I was so disappointed,” the former president said, according to an account in The Washington Post.

National Republicans are walking a fine line on Mr. Trump ahead of the 2022 midterms.

The GOP needs his supporters in the party’s quest to win back the House and Senate next year, but some Republicans fear his attacks on top officials like Mr. McConnell could detract from that effort.

“In some ways, it’s not a big deal what he said. But at the same time, whenever it draws attention, we don’t need that. We need unity,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, who like Mr. McConnell has taken intrasquad fire from Mr. Trump, said the rhetoric and tone are part of the package when it comes to the former president.

“But I think he and Mitch McConnell have a common goal, and that is getting the majority back in 2022,” Mr. Thune said on “Fox News Sunday.” “In the end, hopefully, that will be the thing that unites us, because if we want to defeat and succeed against the Democrats and get that majority back, that’s the best way to do it.”

History suggests that President Biden and the Democrats will struggle to defend the party’s narrow House and Senate majorities next year. The party that wins the White House usually suffers losses in the following midterm elections.

In a sign of the prevailing political winds, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California pulled in a record-breaking $27.1 million haul in the first quarter of 2021 as donors bank on him taking the gavel from Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.

Mr. Trump and his allies said the 2020 election was tainted with widespread fraud in the handful of battleground states that put Mr. Biden over the top. 

The former president’s team came up essentially empty when they pursued the fraud claims in court. None of the legal challenges were successful in overturning any state’s certified results.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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