Former President Trump on Tuesday lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his wife, former Trump administration Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, for “unnecessary turmoil” within the GOP in the wake of House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (Calif.) failure to win the lower chamber’s Speakership.
“There is so much unnecessary turmoil in the Republican Party,” Trump said, adding that the disorder is due in large part to McConnell, Chao and their “RINO” allies, using an acronym for “Republicans in name only.”
The statement is the latest example of Trump attacking not only McConnell but also his wife, who last month denounced the former president’s frequent use of a racist nickname for her. Trump repeated the nickname in his latest statement.
The former president’s comments came just after the House on Tuesday sat through three votes for Speaker, only to adjourn without a winner.
Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) came out ahead of McCarthy in all three rounds of voting, but neither candidate secured the necessary 218 votes to take the top leadership spot — despite Republicans holding 222 seats after this year’s midterms.
Nineteen Republicans voted against McCarthy in the first two votes, and the number of dissenters rose to 20 in the third round.
Trump had initially tried to help McCarthy get the votes he needed, but declined on Tuesday to say whether he’d continue supporting the lawmaker after he lost the three consecutive rounds of voting.
The House will head into a fourth vote when it reconvenes on Wednesday at noon, and the process will continue until a nominee gets a majority of lawmakers’ ballots.
Trump has long expressed his contempt for McConnell and for his former Transportation secretary. McConnell’s pullback from the former president has continued to rile Trump — and Chao resigned after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.