Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is taking flak from former President Donald Trump’s closest allies after criticizing the former president and could be setting himself up for even more of a showdown in 2022 if Trump remains active in the GOP.
“My goal is, in every way possible, to have nominees representing the Republican Party who can win in November,” McConnell told Politico. “Some of them may be people the former president likes. Some of them may not be. The only thing I care about is electability.”
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McConnell’s comments come as Democrats have hammered Republicans over freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a vocal Trump supporter who espoused violence and conspiracy theories on social media before she was elected to Congress in November.
“I’m not predicting the president would support people who couldn’t win. But I do think electability — not who supports who — is the critical point,” McConnell told Politico.
McConnell brushed aside questions about Trump running for president in 2024, Politico reported.
“I’m focused on ’22 … The future of the party will be determined in places like Wyoming in ’22,” he said, referring to the effort to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., after she joined with House Democrats in the push to impeach Trump.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called out McConnell for speaking out against Trump after voting to acquit Trump at his impeachment trial.
“I think Sen. McConnell’s speech, he got a load off his chest, obviously, but unfortunately he put a load on the back of Republicans,” Graham told “Fox News Sunday.” “That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns.”
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McConnell said Saturday that Trump committed “a disgraceful dereliction of duty” by his actions prior to deadly riot and was “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.”
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.