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GOP rep ‘visibly shaken’ at dinner as Trump unloads on her, 12 other RINOs who backed infrastructure bill

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(Video: CNN)

Speaking at a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner this Monday in Tampa, former President Donald Trump reportedly excoriated the 13 Republicans who voted in favor of Democrats’ ostensibly bipartisan infrastructure bill.

He did so in the presence of one of the thirteen, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, who according to reports was the only one of the “RINOs” to show their face.

According to an attendee who later spoke with Juliegrace Brufke of the New York Post, Malliotakis “was visibly shaken” by the former president’s fierce criticism.

The attendee also reported that the speech was lengthy and that Trump seemed friendly and congenial with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The New York Post reported, however, that according to other sources, “Trump has been griping about McCarthy’s leadership” behind his back.

There is no audio/video footage of the former president speaking at the dinner, though there is footage of attendees chanting “let’s go Brandon”:

Regarding Malliotakis, her shock at being targeted by the former president may have had something to do with the fact that she’d praised him on TV only hours earlier.

During an appearance on CNN early Monday morning, she said Trump deserves “some credit” for the bill given his 4-year push for infrastructure spending.

“President Trump laid the groundwork for this infrastructure to pass. He also wanted $1 trillion in spending into America’s infrastructure. … So, I’m happy and I’m appreciative to President Trump for being one of the first to really talk about the need for infrastructure,” she told CNN’s John Berman.

Perhaps, but despite promoting infrastructure spending for four years, the former president ultimately never pulled the trigger. Biden did, with Malliotakis’ help.

She’s tried to defend her vote by claiming the bill’s passage was necessary to “modernize our aging roads, highways & bridges, upgrade sewer systems & implement flood resiliency projects.” But according to her colleagues, only a small chunk of the bill pertains to actual infrastructure.

She’s also tried to act as if voting for the bipartisan bill will prevent the passage of Democrats’ second bill, the so-called Build Back Better Act: “I cast my vote FOR the bipartisan infrastructure bill and AGAINST advancing the socialist spending spree.”

But because Democrats intend to push that bill through reconciliation, it’s never been dependent on Republican votes, meaning the congresswoman’s plan to down-vote it will have no effect on it passing or failing to pass through the House.

That being said, the bipartisan infrastructure bill that Malliotakis and twelve of her GOP peers voted in favor of wouldn’t have ever even made it this far had Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell not “gifted” it to Democrats in August.

This is a pertinent fact that Trump hasn’t forgotten. In a statement issued Tuesday, a day after the eventful NRCC dinner, he slammed the “old crow” for pushing for infrastructure under Biden after having allegedly spent four years blocking it.

“Why is it that Old Crow Mitch McConnell voted for a terrible Democrat Socialist Infrastructure Plan, and induced others in his Party to do likewise, when he was incapable of getting a great Infrastructure Plan wanting to be put forward by me and the Republican Party?” the former president said.

“He continuously said he couldn’t get it passed, just like I had to go around him to get the very popular Southern Border Wall built (which caused great delay — but could now be completed in one month by Biden),” he continued.

Trump further argued that in his infrastructure plan that McConnell had rejected, “all” of the money “would have gone into real Infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, etc.).”

He also took a shot at the Senate Republican leader for agreeing to extend the debt limit til December: “Also, why did Mitch given the Democrats a two-month hiatus, just long enough for them to figure it all out, when they were completely ready to fold?”

Speaking of which, with the debt limit once again approaching, some conservatives are worried that McConnell will once again fold and hand Democrats another victory …

Vivek Saxena

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