Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is “not the guy” to lead the Republican Party, former President Donald Trump told Fox News Thursday after the Kentucky lawmaker helped whip up votes for the Senate to approve a short-term debt ceiling fix.
Eleven Republicans joined with all Democrats to break the filibuster during a tense vote that cleared the chamber’s supermajority requirement and passed the $480 billion debt increase.
“The Republican Senate needs new leadership,” Trump said.
“Mitch is not the guy, not the right guy, he’s not doing the job,” he said. “He gave [Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and his Democrats] a lifeline — it’s more than a lifeline, he gave them so much time to figure out what to do because they were in a big bind; they were unable to do anything.
“He had the weapon, and he was able to use it. It’s a shame,” the former president continued. “That’s not a good thing that happened today. He made a big mistake.”
The other ten senators who voted to pass the debt ceiling included Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota and Sens. Michael Rounds of South Dakota, Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Shelby of Alabama, John Cornyn of Texas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.
McConnell met with GOP senators for two hours Thursday debating whether to vote to advance the two-month borrowing-limit hike after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, insisted on a filibuster.
“I believe it was a mistake to offer this deal. I don’t think it was a good deal,” Cruz said as he left the meeting.
Trump also slammed President Joe Biden for the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, calling the situation “the single most embarrassing thing to happen to our country, maybe in its history.”
“All they [had] to do was leave [the border] alone,” he said. “The wall was almost complete … [and] one thing you didn’t see was drugs. Drugs were at their lowest point – in particular fentanyl, which is a brutal drug. It was stopped, it was at a level we had not seen in a long time.”
“Now it’s coming in at levels that we have never seen: three, four, five times more than we ever had coming in … There’s something wrong,” Trump continued. “You wouldn’t believe you could even say this, but somebody doesn’t love our country.
“When they allow this to happen to our country, we have hundreds of thousands of people pouring in every two weeks.”