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McConnell relentlessly trash-talks ‘fading brand’ Trump, says ‘clear trend’ moving away from him, book claims

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Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s new book “Peril” reportedly claims that Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has been trash-talking former President Donald Trump behind his back, going so far as to compare him to a washed-up racehorse.

Released Monday after weeks of bombshell nuggets being leaked, the book quotes McConnell as recently referring to Trump as “a fading brand,” “retired” and an “OTTB as they say in Kentucky — off-the-track Thoroughbred,” according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

According to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, an off-the-track Thoroughbred “is a horse that was bred and trained to be a racehorse and is now not an active racehorse.”

“There is a clear trend moving” away from Trump, McConnell reportedly also said, adding, “Sucking up to Donald Trump is not a strategy that works.”

It’s not clear when exactly he said these words.

It’s also not clear if these claims from Woodward and Costa are true, though in fairness to them, other bombshell nuggets from the book have certainly appeared valid.

What’s known for certain is that McConnell has never been much of a fan of the former president.

After all, he was quick to condemn Trump after the Jan. 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.

“There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it,” he said after the Senate voted to acquit the former president in February.

But on the other hand, the acquittal passed thanks to the Senate leader’s leadership and vote.

“I believe the best constitutional reading shows that Article II, Section 4 exhausts the set of persons who can legitimately be impeached, tried or convicted. It’s the president, the vice president and civil officers. We have no power to convict and disqualify a former officeholder who is now a private citizen,” he said on Trump’s behalf at the time.

However, he then turned around and suggested Trump should be sued in court.

“President Trump is still liable for everything he did while in office,” said McConnell. “He didn’t get away with anything yet. We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation,” he said.

Despite his lack of enthusiasm for Trump, the Senate leader doesn’t desire to go to war against the former president unless he picks what McConnell believes are lousy candidates for the U.S. Senate, according to Woodward and Costa.

“The only place I can see Trump and me actually at loggerheads would be if he gets behind some clown who clearly can’t win. To have a chance of getting the Senate back, you have to have the most electable candidates possible,” he apparently said sometime recently.

Unfortunately for McConnell, Trump is reportedly at war with him.

“Mr. Trump has spoken recently with senators and allies about trying to depose Mr. McConnell and whether any Republicans are interested in mounting a challenge, according to people familiar with the conversations,” The Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the week.

Trump may have a bit of an issue with that, though, as it appears as though Republicans, in general, don’t back the idea.

“There is little appetite among Senate Republicans for such a plan, lawmakers and aides said,” the Journal’s report continued.

The problem is that this beef between the two men could hurt the Republican Party come 2022. McConnell’s decision-making since President Joe Biden took office certainly hasn’t helped.

As previously reported, he voted to support the Democrats’ supposedly “bipartisan” infrastructure package, despite warnings from Trump that such a move would make “Republicans look weak, foolish and dumb.”

FYI, Trump turned out to be correct:

After enough Republicans threw their support behind the “bipartisan” package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “undercut” them by suddenly announcing that she’d be voting for a separate $3.5 trillion infrastructure boondoggle first in violation of what’d been agreed upon.

“What she has just said is entirely counter to what President Biden has committed to, and what the Senate is doing, which is a two-track process. The infrastructure bill has nothing to do with the reckless tax-and-spend extravaganza she’s talking about,” Sen. Rob Portman fumed at the time.

As for the feud between Trump and McConnell, the former president publicly “declined to discuss” whether he’s secretly campaigning against the Senate leader, according to the Journal.

However, he had no qualms about admitting that he wants other Senate Republicans to remove McConnell from his leadership spot.

“They ought to. I think he’s very bad for the Republican Party,” he reportedly said.

Vivek Saxena

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