Trump rips McConnell while uplifting Rick Scott as Senate leader candidate

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Senate GOP leaders will meet with Trump Thursday. (AP) J. Scott Applewhite

Trump rips McConnell while uplifting Rick Scott as Senate leader candidate

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Former President Donald Trump is again bad-mouthing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) while speaking favorably of another Republican as a candidate to replace him.

An interview published on the day of the midterm elections showcased one of Trump’s most strident rebukes of McConnell to date as he also laid the groundwork for a possible challenge by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).

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“McConnell has been very bad for our nation,” Trump told Fox News. “He has been very bad for the Republican Party. I would be in favor of somebody else — McConnell has done a very bad job.”

McConnell could be in a position to regain the title of majority leader if Republicans win back control of the Senate. The upper chamber is split 50-50 right now, giving an edge to the Democrats, who have a tiebreaker in Vice President Kamala Harris. Republicans need only a net gain of one seat to shake up the power dynamic. Momentum appears to be in the GOP’s favor.

But Trump says “the public” is “very upset” with McConnell. Trump even suggested that if he runs again for president in 2024 and wins, McConnell’s days are numbered as leader, because “I will say, don’t send me any legislation if he’s the leader, and he’ll be out in two minutes.”

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By comparison, Trump said, Scott is a “very talented guy” who is “highly underrated.” Scott, the former governor of Florida, is head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and stands to gain acclaim if the GOP emerges victorious in key Senate races.

Scott, Trump said, is also a “likely candidate” for leader. “He’s tough — he’s tough, and I think he would probably go for it,” Trump said. “He’d have a lot of support.”

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