WASHINGTON, D.C. (NewsNation) — Former President Donald Trump is facing backlash after his weekend rebuke of top Republican leader Mitch McConnell and his wife Elaine Chao. One of the strongest condemnations of the former president came from the Wall Street Journal editorial board.
In a post on his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump slammed McConnell for helping Democrats pass a bill to keep the government up and running. He asked if McConnell was not negotiating with Democrats on bills “because he hates Donald J. Trump and he knows I am strongly opposed to them,” or if it is because he believes in the Democrats’ “Green New Deal” proposal.
“[McConnell] has a DEATH WISH,” Trump continued in his Truth Social post. “[He] must immediately seek help and advise (sic) from his China loving wife…” He then referred to Chao, who was born in Taiwan and was a member of his cabinet until she resigned following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, as “Coco Chow,” which has been broadly condemned as racist.
NewsNation reached out to the former U.S. Transportation Secretary’s team but they said Chao had no comment at the time.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board pushed back against the former president, writing that his attacks on McConnell and Chao were reckless and encouraged violence.
“Mr. Trump’s apologists claim he merely meant Mr. McConnell has a political death wish, but that isn’t what he wrote. It’s all too easy to imagine some fanatic taking Mr. Trump seriously and literally, and attempting to kill Mr. McConnell. Many supporters took Mr. Trump’s rhetoric about former Vice President Mike Pence all too seriously on Jan. 6.”
Taylor Budowich, a member of the former president’s team, responded to the Wall Street Journal editorial, telling the Washington Post that McConnell was “killing the Republican Party through weakness and cowardice.”
“He obviously has a political death wish for himself and Republican Party, but President Trump and the America First champions in Congress will save the Republican Party and our nation,” Budowich told the Post.
This isn’t the first time Trump has taken aim at his party’s top elected official, bashing McConnell for costing Republicans control of the Senate in the Georgia runoffs and scoffing at him when he condemned the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
In a post from August, Trump called for McConnell to step down or be replaced as Senate Republican leader after McConnell seemingly slammed Trump-endorsed candidates, saying “candidate quality” could cost Republicans control of the Senate.
McConnell and other members of the GOP have yet to comment on Trump’s latest attack. However, outgoing GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who is a member of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, used Trump’s comment to issue her own criticism of the GOP.
“When you see former President Trump suggesting in a pretty thinly veiled way, using words that could well cause violence against the Republican leader of the Senate … nobody in my party will say that’s unacceptable,” Cheney said at a Syracuse University event.