Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s ongoing war with the most popular Republican — Donald Trump — in his party is likely going to lose the Kentuckian even more support.
According to the Washington Examiner, McConnell appears to have conspired with Democratic President Joe Biden to quash a group of Republican lawmakers who he claims are “isolationists” because they would rather spend $40 billion helping Americans than giving it to Ukraine, especially without any oversight.
The outlet noted:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) returned from last weekend’s trip to Ukraine motivated to squash what he called a “pretty small group” of isolationist lawmakers who are “somewhat encouraged by the former president.”
In a Thursday interview, he revealed a conversation he had with President Joe Biden ahead of the trip, wherein McConnell shared his plans to “push back … against the isolationist sentiment in my own party.”
“And [Biden] agreed that that makes sense.”
He further explained to Biden: “I want to reinforce with the Europeans after some loose talk during the Trump years about whether NATO is important, that at least at the moment, the most important Republican we currently have in Congress has a different point of view.”
McConnell explained in the interview that the group of what he called isolationists is small, and he wants to make that clear to NATO allies.
“This is not a major schism. It’s a small isolationist group, somewhat encouraged by the former president. But it’s not widely held among Republicans in Congress, and I don’t think among the public in general,” he said in the interview with Politico.
The massive Ukrainian aid package passed the Senate last week on a vote of 86-11 after already passing the House.
One of the Republicans who voted no — Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri — took to Twitter to push back against the minority leader’s characterization of the GOP opponents.
“Spending $40 billion on Ukraine aid — more than three times what all of Europe has spent combined — is not in America’s interests. It neglects priorities at home (the border), allows Europe to freeload, short changes critical interests abroad and comes w/ no meaningful oversight,” he wrote.
“That’s not isolationism. That’s nationalism. It’s about prioritizing American security and American interests,” he added.
That’s not isolationism. That’s nationalism. It’s about prioritizing American security and American interests
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 16, 2022
“So, yes, our national security is threatened, not by Russia’s war on Ukraine, but by Congress’ war on the American taxpayer,” McConnell’s counterpart, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), wrote in an op-ed Tuesday.