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‘A piece of s***’: Trump says what he really thinks about Mitch McConnell

Donald Trump has condemned Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell as “a piece of s***” and accused other Republican senators of treating him like a “schmuck”.

In an interview with The Atlantic published on Sunday, Mr Trump said he had hoped Mr McConnell would act with “strength” to protect him from criticism and political attacks.

That was despite Mr McConnell’s long history of defending Mr Trump and keeping senators on track with the former president’s agenda.

“The Old Crow’s a piece of s***,” Mr Trump told journalist Maggie Haberman at his Florida estate of Mar-a-Lago, using his personal nickname for the 80-year-old Kentucky senator.

He said he had hoped “the Mitch McConnells” of his presidency would behave with the “strength” of legendary Brooklyn Democratic political fixer Meade Esposito, who was forced to resign in the late Eighties after numerous corruption scandals.

Mr Trump also criticised Republican senators including Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz for persuading him to back Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, who later voted to impeach Mr Trump in February 2021.

“Like a schmuck, I went along with it,” Mr Trump told Ms Haberman.

The three interviews in which Mr Trump made these remarks came from Ms Haberman’s new book Confidence Man, which alleges that the real estate tycoon privately admitted his defeat in the days following the 2020 election.

Nevertheless, the book claims that Mr Trump spent much of 2021 barracking conservative writers and operatives to support the idea that he could be resintated as president by August 2021, despite privately saying it was “almost impossible”.

Mr McConnell remains the leader of Republicans in the Senate today. In the aftermath of the attack on the US Capitol last January, he criticised Mr Trump in strident terms, but refused to impeach him the following month.

Prior to that, Mr McConnell was widely seen as a relative Trump loyalist among other Republicans, with The New Yorker once branding him Mr Trump’s “enabler in chief”.

Mr Trump told Ms Hagerman that he was not watching television while his supporters stormed the US Capitol, contradicting the testimony of multiple White House officials from that time.

He tore into Sidney Powell, the lawyer who spearheaded his efforts to overturn the election, saying he was “very disappointed” by her “demeaning” defence to a libel lawsuit last year, in which her lawyers claimed that no reasonable person would have taken her claims seriously.

He likewise tore into his former vice president Mike Pence, saying: “I said, ‘Mike, you have a chance to be Thomas Jefferson, or you can be Mike Pence’. He chose to be Mike Pence.”

Mr Trump further claimed that he had taken “nothing of great urgency” with him when he left the White House, and hinted that he might still be in touch with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

The FBI has since seized roughly 11,000 documents from Mar-a-Lago, including about 100 with markings suggesting that they were classified.

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