(USA Features) A top GOP senator on Sunday dismissed former President Donald Trump’s criticisms of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying that it is just part of his style and that both men want the same things politically.
During a Fox News interview, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 ranking Republican in the chamber, was asked to respond to comments Trump reportedly made about McConnell during a private dinner for GOP donors at his Mar-a-Lago home Saturday night in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Trump reportedly said that under McConnell’s leadership, Republicans will lose ground in 2022 and 2024, though overall the former president predicted the GOP would win back the House and Senate next year as well as the presidency again two years later.
Thune said Trump’s comments are “part of the style and tone that comes with the former president,” adding that he and McConnell have the common goal of defeating Democrats.
“If that were Schumer instead of this dumb son of a bitch Mitch McConnell they would never allow it to happen. They would have fought it,” Trump reportedly said regarding pushback against electoral vote results from several key battleground states.
Trump also predicted that the Republican Party would win big starting next year.
“We are gathered tonight to talk about the future of the Republican Party—and what we must do to set our candidates on a course to victory,” Trump said Saturday night.
“I stand before you this evening filled with confidence that in 2022, we are going to take back the House and we are going to reclaim the Senate—and then in 2024, a Republican candidate is going to win the White House.”
Earlier, Trump also blasted Thune, calling him “Mitch’s boy” and suggesting he might back a primary challenger.
Thune responded to Fox News host Chris Wallace by saying he’s not “afraid of a fight.”
“I’ve been through wars in South Dakota, political wars, with my own party when I ran the first time, with the Democrats in a couple of hotly contested Senate races, so being afraid of a fight or somebody coming after me is not something that’s going to influence that decision,” he said.
Thune also has the backing of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R).