Trump lashes out at Republican push to purge him from the party
Palm Beach, Florida – The GOP civil war just keeps on raging.
Former President Donald Trump took aim at the Senate’s top Republican and a conservative newspaper editorial board on Thursday over what he described as their attempt to "badly hurt" the GOP by pushing for his banishment from the party.
Trump, a voracious consumer of conservative media, took the broadsides in a lengthy statement, beginning with a lament about the Wall Street Journal editorial board, which published a piece on Monday arguing that Republican candidates will keep losing elections if they have nothing going for them except their loyalty to the ex-president.
"They fight for RINOS that have so badly hurt the Republican Party," Trump said of the editorial board, using an acronym for "Republicans in Name Only" to disparage moderate GOP lawmakers.
"That’s where they are and that’s where they will always be. Fortunately, nobody cares much about the Wall Street Journal editorial anymore. They have lost great credibility."
The Wall Street Journal editorial board was a major source of Trump-boosting content throughout his time in office — until he incited the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol, at which point the outlet switched gears and called on the former president to resign.
Trump is taking jabs at Republicans like Mitch McConnell
Pivoting away from the editorial board and seeking to deflect blame, Trump said it’s not him but establishment GOP lawmakers like Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell who are at fault for Republican election defeats.
He blamed the twin GOP losses in January’s critical Georgia Senate runoffs on McConnell’s refusal at the time to pass $2,000 coronavirus stimulus checks for most Americans.
"This latter point was used against our senators and the $2,000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats who bought the Georgia election – and McConnell let them do it!" Trump said. "Even more stupidly, the National Republican Senatorial Committee spent millions of dollars on ineffective TV ads starring Mitch McConnell, the most unpopular politician in the country."
A spokesman for McConnell did not return a request for comment.
Since leaving office in disgrace after being impeached for an unprecedented second time, Trump has focused most of his political energy on besmirching members of his own party who broke with him after the Capitol riot.
The intra-party attacks have Republican leaders like McConnell worried, as they fear it could fracture the GOP and cause future election losses.
But Trump does not appear concerned about that and has endorsed several hard-right challengers seeking to unseat establishment Republicans in the 2022 midterms.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida on Sunday, Trump suggested he wants all Republicans in Congress who voted for his impeachment gone from the party.
"Get rid of them all," he said.
The Wall Street Journal didn't let Trump's remarks stand. They published a response, rebutting his rage-filled arguments and asserting instead: "What really seems to rankle the most famous resident of Mar-a-Lago isn’t his caricature of our policy differences. It’s that we recognize the reality that Mr. Trump is the main reason Republicans lost two Georgia Senate races in January and thus the Senate majority. Mr. Trump refuses to take responsibility for those defeats, contrary to all evidence."
"For someone who says we don’t matter, he sure spends a lot of time reading and responding to us. Thanks for the attention," the editorial board continued.
Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / Dean Pictures, IMAGO / ZUMA Wire