Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday laughed off former President Donald Trump’s claim of credit for his 2020 re-election.
The Kentucky Republican chuckled to reporters in Washington Tuesday and said, “Yeah, well, I want to thank him for the 15 point margin I had in 2014 as well.”
Trump attacked McConnell on Sunday in his first speech as an ex-president and wondered aloud if he made a mistake supporting the former majority leader’s campaign for a seventh term.
“My endorsement of Mitch McConnell at his request… he made a request, he asked for my endorsement — brought him from one point down to 20 points up, and he won his race,” Trump said in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla.
“I said, ‘I wonder if I’m doing the right thing here?’ But you know what, I did, I did what I did,” Trump said.
Trump and McConnell worked closely during his four-year term on shared goals such as tax cuts and judicial confirmations, but they had a bitter break following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, during which a mob of Trump supporters battled police feet from McConnell’s office.
McConnell voted last month to acquit Trump of inciting the riot, but slammed in him a speech as “practically and morally responsible” for the rampage. His wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, was the first member of Trump’s Cabinet to resign over the clashes.
Trump retaliated with a blistering statement that said, “Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.”
But McConnell, eager to patch up intra-party fighting ahead of the 2022 midterms, recently said that Trump could still play a “constructive” role in Republican politics, and that he “absolutely” would vote for Trump if he wins the 2024 presidential nomination.