Trump endorses Rick Scott over McConnell as GOP leader as power struggles escalate

Former President Donald Trump has endorsed a potential challenger to Mitch McConnell as Senate GOP leader amid escalating power struggles.

The ex-president called to speak on a recently aired Blaze Media news program hosted by former Fox News host Glenn Beck. Trump confirmed that he supports Florida Sen. Rick Scott as a potential challenger to McConnell’s longtime GOP leadership position in the Senate. He also reiterated his dislike for McConnell and also targeted his wife, Elaine Chao, with potentially racist remarks.

“I think Rick Scott would be a lot better than McConnell,” Trump said. “I know McConnell well. I call his wife CoCo Chao. I wasn’t sad to see her go. I’m not a McConnell fan and I’m a Rick Scott fan.”

The portion of Blaze Media’s broadcast where Trump made the comment was shared on Twitter by left-leaning commentator and former federal prosecutor Ron Filipkowski on Friday. As of Saturday afternoon, the clip had been viewed almost 430,000 times.

Blame was thrown in all directions after the GOP’s disappointing performance in last week’s midterm elections. With races still being decided in Nevada and Georgia, Democrats are inclined to hold onto their Senate majority and possibly increase it by a seat. Republicans are still favored to retake the House of Representatives, but with a much smaller majority than expected, while Democrats still have a small chance of retaining the lower house.

Many on the right have pointed the finger at Trump for the party’s failure, noting that a significant number of his supported candidates have failed. These included Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania versus Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and all of his secretaries of state in key swing states. Trump, on the other hand, has blamed GOP leadership, including McConnell. The former president has targeted McConnell for nearly two years, since the Kentucky senator opposed Trump’s role in instigating the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

Rick Scott, whose home state of Florida was among the few places Republicans cleaned up in the interim period, was preparing to use a “red wave” of the GOP Senate victory to challenge McConnell for party leadership, according to Politico Thursday. Scott even reportedly prepared a video in advance announcing his intentions. However, those plans were put on hold after the interim results.

news week has reached out to Trump’s office for comment.

Trump Rick Scott Senate Gop Leader
Above, former President Donald Trump appears with Senator Rick Scott at a 2018 campaign event. Trump on Friday endorsed Scott as a potential replacement for Mitch McConnell as Senate GOP leader.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

A letter signed by Scott along with Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Mike Lee of Utah began circulating in Washington on Friday, calling for a postponement of the party’s Senate leadership election. The letter cited the need to get a sense of each potential candidate’s priorities and to see who will ultimately form their ranks. The Georgia Senate race between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker is scheduled to go into a runoff on Dec. 6.

A seven-term senator, McConnell has served as Senate GOP leader since 2007, when he took over from outgoing Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist. McConnell is the Senate Minority Leader in the current 50-50 chamber and was Majority Leader from 2015 to 2021. Trump endorses Rick Scott over McConnell as GOP leader as power struggles escalate

Rick Schindler

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