On Tuesday (January 3), former President Donald Trump took aim at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chao, a former Transport Secretary in the Trump administration, blaming them for the “unnecessary turmoil” in the House.
Trump’s comments came after McCarthy failed to win the Speakership after three consecutive votes, adjourning the session until Wednesday.
In a statement, Trump acknowledged there was “so much unnecessary turmoil in the Republican Party,” claiming the chaos was because of McConnell, his wife, and their RINO allies, an acronym Trump coined for Republican in Name Only.
Trump’s remarks are the most recent attack the former President directed at McConnell and his wife, who denounced Trump’s frequently used racist term for her in December.
Trump repeated that term in his statement on Tuesday.
Republicans started the 118th Congress on a rocky footing, with 19 Republicans opposing McCarthy in all three votes.
The persistent opposition meant incoming Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) came out ahead of McCarthy with 212 votes in every round of voting, coming six votes short of the needed 218 votes needed to get the Speaker’s gavel.
Trump had initially attempted to assist McCarthy with the votes he needed after several Republicans voiced their opposition to McCarthy’s bid for Speaker. However, Trump declined to say whether he’d continue his efforts.
Lawmakers will head to the House on Wednesday (January 4) for the fourth vote, which will be conducted at noon, with the process set to continue until a nominee is selected.