The Republican Party is not comprehensively unified heading into the upcoming midterm elections. Donald Trump thinks McConnell is a “piece of shit,” apparently.
New reporting on Trump is available by way of Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, who has a book coming out containing details of three interviews she did with Trump in the aftermath of his presidency. Haberman has covered Trump for years, including throughout his tenure. In one of the Trump and Haberman sit-downs, Donald — seemingly ignoring all the political support McConnell provided him and ignoring the staunchly conservative nature of the Senate leader’s policy approach — tore into the GOP figurehead. Asked about how he thought the presidency would compare to the heavy-handed politics of leaders like the late NYC-area Democratic Party official Meade Esposito, who dominated politics in Brooklyn for awhile, Trump told Haberman: “Well, I figured that the Mitch McConnells would be like him, in the sense of strength.”
Esposito, it’s worth noting, was convicted of criminal activity before his death, although Trump was adulatory. “Meade ruled with an iron fist,” Trump said. “And he was a very strong leader, to put it mildly. And when I came to Washington, I said, ‘Oh, well, this is now the big league. So as tough as they were, this must be even tougher.’ But I said, ‘How could anybody be tougher than Meade?’ Meade had a cane at the end. He used to start swinging the cane at people. I mean, he was wild.” Trump has previously equated ruling with an “iron fist” with being “smart.” As for McConnell, Trump isn’t thrilled, using even the slightest of progress for the Democratic agenda — among other factors — as a pretext for angry complaints. “The Old Crow’s a piece of shit,” Trump told Haberman, referring to the GOP leader. With Trump’s endorsements potentially deciding where his followers throw their support and the Senate potentially slipping out of the GOP’s grasp — again, a Trump and McConnell feud must give party leaders other than the two of them reasons to worry.