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Trump breaks silence to rebuke McConnell after Senate acquittal

Trump breaks silence to rebuke McConnell after Senate acquittal
President Donald Trump issued a statement Tuesday questioning Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell's leadership of the party. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Days after being acquitted by the Senate during his second impeachment trial and a month of relative silence since leaving the White House, former President Donald Trump issued a scathing personal attack against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, calling him "a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack."

Trump railed against the Kentucky senator in the 600-word statement, stating McConnell lacks "political insight, wisdom, skill and personality."

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"The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political 'leaders' like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm," Trump said in the statement issued Tuesday by his Save America PAC.

The former president also warned those who stand with McConnell will not win future elections, vowing to back pro-Trump rivals who espouse "Making America Great Again and our policy of America First."

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Trump issued the statement days after the Senate acquitted him on Saturday of the charge of inciting his supporters to stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 in a bid to stop Joe Biden from being certified as the 46th President of the United States.

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Five people died as a result of the siege, including one of the Capitol Police officers on duty trying to protect the government facility and the lawmakers inside from the mob.

McConnell was among the 43 Senators who voted to acquit the president though he blamed Trump from the Senate Floor on Saturday for engineering "the campaign of disinformation and rage that provoked" the attack.

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"Former President Trump's actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty," he said.

In an op-ed printed Monday in the Wall Street Journal, McConnell defended his decision to vote in favor of acquittal, saying impeachment and conviction is only applicable to "current officers" but said "[t]here is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility."

"His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world's largest megaphone," McConnell wrote.

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Trump in his seeming rebuttal made no mention of his impeachment, the trial or the Capitol breach but claimed credit for McConnell's Senate victory last year, stating the Kentucky politician would "have lost and lost badly" without his support.

"We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful and compassionate leadership," the former president said.

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