WASHINGTON – Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has accused former President Donald Trump of political extremism, saying it will be even harder to regain the presidency in 2024.
McConnell criticized Trump’s proposal to repeal the U.S. Constitution and have him re-elected as president, saying that “anyone who believes it would be very difficult to be sworn in as president of the United States.”
McConnell, who criticized Trump at a dinner with outspoken white supremacists last week, didn’t say whether he would support Trump if the Republicans re-nominated him for president in two years.
The Senate Republican leader did not comment on Trump’s statement Saturday until he held a press conference with reporters following the Republican luncheon to make a brief statement. Other Republican leaders are also hesitant to discuss Trump’s views on the US Constitution.
Trump and McConnell have frequently clashed over the future of the Republican Party. Tensions are only escalating following the Republican turnaround in the midterm elections and Trump’s announcement that he will run for president again in 2024.
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Trump and Republicans: Republican leaders are largely silent on Donald Trump’s call for a constitutional suspension
Last week, after McConnell criticized the former president for hosting a dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes, Trump responded by calling the Senate Republican leader a “loser.”
McConnell slowly rises among Republicans who oppose Trump’s bizarre calls for an “end” to the U.S. Constitution and his presidency, citing an allegedly problematic 2020 election. Trump continues to spread false allegations, but multiple investigations, lawsuits and audits have shown no widespread voter fraud in 2020.
Few Republicans were quick to comment on Trump’s statement. Some Republicans responded when asked by reporters on Sunday’s interview show, and after many returned to Washington, D.C. for congressional work.
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn called the statement “irresponsible” and said Trump’s chances of being re-nominated for president “become less and less given statements like that.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) said in a speech Monday that more Republicans need to speak out. It’s raining here and there. ”
“Republicans need to speak up,” Schumer said.
Dinner controversy: Mitch McConnell joins Republican party to denounce Donald Trump’s dinner with white supremacists
In a post on Saturday on Truth Social, Trump cited a Twitter report about how the social media giant handled news stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop and asked the odd question: “What will happen in 2020?” Shall we discard the presidential election results and declare the correct winner, or will there be a new election?”
Trump added that the situation “allows for the termination of all rules, regulations and articles, including those found in the Constitution.”
In a follow-up on Monday, Trump denied saying, “I wanted to ‘terminate’ the Constitution,” but the original post containing the word ‘terminate’ remains on his Truth Social account.
In another follow-up, this in all caps, Trump again said the election “must go to the rightful winner, or at least start over.”
Trump was citing a Twitter report about how social media websites handled a 2020 news report about a laptop owned by President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. .
Trump’s comments on the Constitution only added to the difficult developments of his 2024 presidential election.
That includes a Trump dinner with Fuentes and rapper Ye (Kanye West), both of whom have made a barrage of anti-Semitic statements.
Of that event, McConnell said, “There is no room for anti-Semitism or white supremacy in the Republican Party,” and that anyone who meets people with such views is “very unlikely to be elected president of the United States.” ” he said.
Fact check: Joe Biden legally won the presidential election despite persistent claims to the contrary
Some Republicans say the leader was too late to condemn Trump’s dinner, and likewise lag behind his idea of shredding the Constitution.
Rep. Liz Cheney, who lost the Republican primary to a pro-Trump challenger, has set her sights on House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.
“I wouldn’t blame Trump for dining with Fuentes & West last week,” she tweeted. I said we should end the rules, regulations, etc. Are you so utterly unprincipled that you don’t condemn this?”
When a CNN reporter asked McCarthy about Trump’s comments, he said, “I fully support the Constitution,” and kept walking.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY. McConnell attacked Trump for calling for an “end” to the Constitution.