Donald Trump is permanently banned from Twitter, but he still managed to fire back at Mitch McConnell Tuesday after the Senate minority leader wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed slamming the former president's "unconscionable" behavior before, during, and after the Capitol riot, but defending his vote to acquit. In a statement issued through his Save America super PAC, Trump called McConnell a "dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack" and blamed him for the GOP's Senate losses, the Hill reports. Trump urged Senate Republicans to replace McConnell as leader and said that "where necessary and appropriate," he "will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First." He accused McConnell of having a "Beltway first" agenda.
The attack on McConnell shows Trump hasn't "lost his bite" with the Twitter ban, according to Anthony Zurcher at the BBC. "There's a lot of invective in the eight-paragraph diatribe from the former president, but the line that will give the Republicans the most heartburn is ... when he says he will back primary challenges against members of his own party," writes Zurcher who finds it "telling" that after the impeachment trial, Trump is lashing out against Republicans, not Democrats. The New York Times reports that some McConnell allies felt he should respond to the attack, especially because of lines attacking the family of wife Elaine Chao, while others saw it as bait. "Trump going total mean girl ought to feed the cable beast for weeks," tweeted Janet Mullins Grissom, McConnell's first chief of staff. (Read more Mitch McConnell stories.)