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Mitch McConnell throws shade after Donald Trump takes credit for his reelection

  | Louisville Courier Journal

In another loop on the rollercoaster that is the relationship between Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican had a sassy comeback to the former president’s remarks during his first speech since leaving office.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday, Trump didn’t attack McConnell directly, as he did in a written statement after his impeachment trial calling McConnell “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” who would lead Republicans to defeat.

Instead, he claimed that his endorsement propelled McConnell to victory in the November election, with supporters at CPAC booing the mention of McConnell’s name.

“My endorsement of Mitch McConnell at his request … brought him from one point down to 20 points up, and he won his race in the great state, and actually the great commonwealth, of Kentucky, and he won it very easily,” Trump told the crowd. “And I said, ‘I wonder if I’m doing the right thing here,’ but you know what, I did what I did, but he went from one point down to 20 points up very quickly, immediately actually, and he won his race, and if you compare that to his other elections, I’m sure you’ll see something very interesting.”

When a reporter asked for his response to those claims during a press conference Tuesday, McConnell gave Trump a sardonic thanks.

“I want to thank him for the 15-point margin I had in 2014 as well,” McConnell said before moving on to the next question. That victory came after polls showed his race with Alison Lundergan Grimes was close throughout the campaign.

McConnell won his race against Amy McGrath in November, defeating the former Marine fighter pilot by 20 points. All polls from after Kentucky’s June 23 primary elections listed on FiveThirtyEight had McConnell ahead of McGrath.

A poll released by independent firm Morning Consult in early August showed him up by 17 percentage points over McGrath.

Joe Gerth: Mitch McConnell must beat Donald Trump in fight for the Republican Party

It’s not the first time Trump has taken credit for McConnell’s 2020 win, which earned the Kentuckian his seventh term in the U.S. Senate.

Not long after the McConnell acknowledged then President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in December, Trump wrote in a Christmas Eve tweet that he “saved at least 8 Republican Senators, including Mitch, from losing in the last Rigged (for President) Election.

“Now they (almost all) sit back and watch me fight against a crooked and vicious foe, the Radical Left Democrats. I will NEVER FORGET!” he continued.

Also: McConnell says he would ‘absolutely’ support Trump if ex-president is GOP nominee in 2024

Reach Emma Austin at [email protected] or on Twitter at @emmacaustin.

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