All-out civil war within the Republican Party is looming after Former President Donald Trump blamed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for election defeats and said he would back primary candidates to remove his allies.
"Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again," Trump said in a statement issued by his Save America PAC on Tuesday evening.
"He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our country. Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First," he added.
Statement from President Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/6gcjXXUd9h— Mollie (@MZHemingway) February 16, 2021
Trump and McConnell have not spoken since mid-December after McConnell recognised Democrat Joe Biden as the winner in the Presidential election.
The full-frontal attack also follows McConnell's accusation that Trump was to blame for the violence that engulfed the United States Capitol last month.
"President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it," McConnell said following the impeachment procedings afainst Trump last week.
Republican activisits say the two are trying to push the party in opposite directions.
McConnell wants to take the party back toward the roots of a budget-focused, pro-trade party, while Trump, who is still backed by a large portion of the Republican voter base, advocates a more populist approach.
McConnell told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Monday that he would consider "trying to affect the outcome of the primaries" during the 2022 congressional campaign season.
He said that he welcomed Republicans of all stripes, but "what I care about is electability."
However, in his statement, Trump said he would be involved in future Republican primaries.
"Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First," he said in his statement on Tuesday.