KEY POINTS

  • Republicans are split between Trump and McConnell
  • Only three GOP senators voiced their support for the Kentucky Republican senator
  • McConnell slammed Trump in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal on Monday

GOP senators are split between Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell after the former president launched an attack on the Republican leader after he was acquitted last week. 

Trump on Tuesday issued a scathing statement against McConnell, calling him an “unsmiling political hack.” His insulting words came after McConnell blasted the former president for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that killed five individuals, including a police officer. 

“The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political 'leaders' like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm,” Trump said at the beginning of his statement. “Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again,” he continued. “He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country.”

McConnell had slammed Trump from the Senate floor on Saturday, and he reiterated his remarks in an op-ed published Monday in The Wall Street Journal.

“There 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. 

Many Republican senators aren't eager to pick sides amid the ongoing political feud between Trump and McConnell. On Thursday, CNN contacted 16 Senate GOP members who are up for re-election in 2022 and asked whether they still supported McConnell. Only three responded. 

Sen. John Thune, R-SD, noted his support for the Senate minority leader. He faces re-election in South Dakota next year. 

“Leader McConnell has my full support and confidence. No one understands the Senate better than he does,” he said. 

Thune also criticized Trump’s insults and likened it to “food fights within the family” that negatively impacted the Republican party’s goals. He was one of the seven Republicans that voted to convict the former POTUS in the second Senate impeachment trial. 

Meanwhile, the office of Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, referred CNN to a recent interview where he voiced his support for McConnell. 

“I do,” he said. “There's a very simple answer: Yes. The longer answer is: Definitely yes. Because at the end of the day we're going to have to have someone in the party who understands how to fight fire with fire when it comes to Sen. [Chuck] Schumer if we're going to win back the majority, which we will.”

A spokesperson for Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., also confirmed he still supports Senator McConnell.  Better days: then-president Donald Trump (R) and Mitch McConnell, the powerful Senate majority leader at the time, in October 2017. Better days: then-president Donald Trump (R) and Mitch McConnell, the powerful Senate majority leader at the time, in October 2017. Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Drew Angerer