The gauntlet was thrown down on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., by former President Donald Trump, who vowed Wednesday to oppose anyone who backs the "rogue" Republican.
"No, I'm not a fan of Mitch McConnell – never was," Trump told Newsmax's Emerald Robinson in an exclusive one-on-one on his border visit to McAllen, Texas, which aired on "Stinchfield."
"He's been there a long time by the way, Mitch McConnell," Trump added. "They eat their lunch on Mitch McConnell. Anybody that's for Mitch McConnell to remain as leader, I am going to have a hard time endorsing.
"If I don't endorse people, they're not going to win."
Trump rebuked McConnell for going "rogue" after pleading for his support in the 2020 election.
"He came to me, he was losing the election, losing badly," Trump told Robinson. "He was going to lose the election to Amy McGrath. She had $80-some-odd million in the bank, was ready to spend it.
"He asked for help, came to the Oval Office. I gave him help. And he ended up winning by the most he's ever won by.
"Then, after he won, he went rogue."
Trump said there are at least five candidates who should be considered the next Senate GOP leader, without naming names. McConnell's turn on him amid the allegations of election irregularities has exposed him as the wrong man to lead the party going forward, according to Trump.
"That tells you bad guy, but it also tells you he's not good for our country – not the guy to lead," Trump continued. "You have some people that would be good leaders in the Senate. He's not the man."
The post-2020 election actions by McConnell has made him one of the RINOs (Republican in Name Only) in Congress, because he merely does what he needs to to survive as a politician.
"Mitch McConnell has been this way," Trump said. "He's a guy that, he's a survivor. That's really what he is. He's just a survivor. We need a better leader in the Senate. We need a stronger leader, a better leader. He raises money because of his position and he gives it out to senators and they vote for him."
Trump added McConnell was fine with Republicans losing the White House to get Trump out, but had held on to hope he could keep himself in a Senate majority by winning both of the Georgia Senate seats in a Jan. 5 runoff. Instead, McConnell lost both.
"He should have won two races in Georgia that he blew," Trump said. "He should have kept the presidency because we found so much corruption, and he didn't want to hear about it. He actually was happy just having the Senate. He thought he could stop it, but he lost those two seats."
Next, Democrats' hopes to remove the Trump administration tax cuts must be blocked in the Senate, something which might be McConnell's final marching order as party leader.
"We have some fantastic people in the Republican Party," Trump said. "We have some people that should get tougher and stronger. They shouldn't let go of the tax cuts.
"Hopefully the Republicans are able to hold onto the tax cuts, and that's going to be Mitch McConnell," Trump concluded. "He better do it because people are wise to him now."