Donald Trump blasted the Wall Street Journal editorial board Thursday after the newspaper blamed him for Republicans losing the Senate, with the former president insisting instead that “unpopular” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Georgia GOP leaders bear responsibility.
In a statement from his home in Florida, Mr. Trump rebutted the argument that he cost Georgia’s Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, their seats in runoff elections last month that flipped control of the Senate to Democrats.
Mr. Trump said he wanted “to set the record straight,” citing two other reasons for the GOP losses in Georgia.
“First, Republicans did not turn out to vote because they were so angry and disappointed with Georgia Republican leadership and Governor [Brian] Kemp for failing to stand up to” Democrat Stacey Abrams and a “disastrous” consent decree, which he said “virtually eliminated signature verification requirements across the state.”
Mr. Trump said it resulted in “a rigged election.” He lost the state to President Biden by fewer than 12,000 votes.
His statement comes as Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is seeking subpoenas from a grand jury this week in a probe of Mr. Trump and top associates for possible election fraud, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The probe is expected to explore Mr. Trump’s Jan. 2 phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which the then-president leaned on the state official to “find” the votes to reverse Mr. Biden’s victory there.
Mr. Trump also cited Mr. McConnell’s “refusal to go above $600 per person on the stimulus check payments when the two Democrat opponents were touting $2,000 per person in ad after ad.”
“This latter point was used against our senators and the $2,000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats who bought the Georgia election — and McConnell let them do it!” Mr. Trump said.
The Senate is considering a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that would include stimulus checks of $1,400 to individuals with income of $80,000 or less.
The Journal’s editorial three days ago said of Mr. Trump’s legacy, “He proceeded to lose the White House on Nov. 3, and he cost the GOP two Georgia Senate races on Jan. 5 as he made his claims of election fraud the main issue rather than checking Mr. Biden and Nancy Pelosi.
Mr. Trump essentially told his Georgia supporters their votes didn’t matter, and many stayed home. The GOP lost the Senate.”
Mr. Trump said the Journal’s editorial board “has lost great credibility.” He said the editorial board “continues, knowingly, to fight for globalist policies such as bad trade deals, open borders and endless wars that favor other countries and sell out our great American workers, and they fight for RINOS [Republican In Name Only] that have so badly hurt the Republican Party.
“Fortunately, nobody cares much about The Wall Street Journal editorial anymore,” said Mr. Trump, who has been banned from Twitter.
Mr. McConnell, asked on Fox News this week whether he had watched Mr. Trump’s speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee convention on Sunday, said he hadn’t.
“We’re dealing with the present and the future, not looking back to the past,” Mr. McConnell said.
Mr. Trump, who assured conservatives last weekend that he won’t try to start a third party, also criticized the National Republican Senatorial Committee for spending “millions of dollars on ineffective TV ads starring Mitch McConnell, the most unpopular politician in the country, who only won in Kentucky because President Trump endorsed him. He would have lost badly without this endorsement.”