Former President Trump told Fox News in an exclusive interview on Thursday that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell must be replaced among caucus leadership, after the 79-year-old Kentuckian led 10 other Senate Republicans in giving Democrats enough votes to break the filibuster on a debt ceiling increase.
On an ensuing party-line vote, Democrats passed a $480 billion debt ceiling increase which host Sean Hannity said will last until December – giving the party time to potentially craft a procedure to successfully pass its multitrillion-dollar socioeconomic overhaul legislation dubbed “human infrastructure.”
In the past, Trump has railed against one of them, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, as “disloyal” and previously promised to support a primary challenger against her in 2022.
The other nine included Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota and Sens. Michael Rounds of South Dakota, Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Shelby of Alabama, John Cornyn of Texas, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.
“The Republican Senate needs new leadership,” Trump said, adding that for a long time he has doubted McConnell’s ability to lead his caucus, especially under such pressures.
“Mitch is not the guy, not the right guy, he’s not doing the job,” he said. “He gave [Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and his Democrats] a lifeline – it’s more than a lifeline, he gave them so much time to figure out what to do because they were in a big bind; they were unable to do anything.”
“He had the weapon and he was able to use it. It’s a shame,” the Palm Beach Republican continued. “That’s not a good thing that happened today. He made a big mistake.”
The former president also addressed President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, calling the ongoing situation “the single most embarrassing thing to happen to our country, maybe in its history.”
He also voiced concern that Russia and China – the latter of which borders Afghanistan – will be able to, with the help of the Taliban, deconstruct and summarily reconstruct the billions of dollars worth of U.S. military equipment Biden left behind.
“It looked like a total surrender,” he said.
Later in the interview, Hannity asked the former president about the continually intensifying border crisis, through which hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens have egressed unimpeded into the United States across the Rio Grande.
Trump replied that for a government to be so weak in response to such a chaotic and illegal situation, some officials must not have the same patriotism as others.
“All they [had] to do was leave [the border] alone,” he said. “The wall was almost complete… [and] one thing you didn’t see was drugs. Drugs were at their lowest point – in particular fentanyl, which is a brutal drug. It was stopped, it was at a level we had not seen in a long time.”
“Now it’s coming in at levels that we have never seen: three, four, five times more than we ever had coming in… There’s something wrong,” Trump continued. “You wouldn’t believe you could even say this, but somebody doesn’t love our country.
“When they allow this to happen to our country, we have hundreds of thousands of people pouring in every two weeks.”
Trump surmised that Central American nations, in particular, are “emptying their prisons into the United States” as the Biden administration refuses to vet many of the illegal alien migrants for criminal or terrorist ties.
“Some of the toughest people on earth are being dumped into the United States because they don’t want them. They don’t want to take care of them for the next 40 years. These people that are the roughest prisoners, anywhere, are being dumped into the United States for us to take care of them. What are they doing? They are destroying our country,” he said.