Former President Donald Trump said Thursday he's optimistic that Republicans will retake the House and Senate in 2022, but called for new leadership to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"We need good leadership," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo. "Mitch McConnell has not done a great job, I think they should change Mitch McConnell."
Trump and the longtime Kentucky Republican have had a war of words for some months, and it heated up after the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, when McConnell denounced Trump as having incited the incident.
"The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political 'leaders' like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm," Trump said in a statement shortly after McConnell's Senate floor comments. "Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again."
Trump also became angry at McConnell after the then-Senate Majority Leader refused to take any action to contest the results of the 2020 election, and he has suggested he'll work to defeat McConnell and "back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great."
McConnell at the time argued that contesting the vote because of objections from the losing side would see American democracy enter "a death spiral."
“I’m looking at the right people to endorse and when I endorse people it means a lot,” Trump told Bartiromo on Thursday. “I think we’re going to have a great victory in 2022. I think we’re going to take back the House. Everybody’s working very hard.”
He added that he's working in conjunction with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and his group, and said he believes "we're going to take back the House."
Trump has in recent months endorsed several candidates, and he pointed out that he has just endorsed Susan Wright, the widow of late Rep. Ron Wright, in a special election to replace him in the Sixth District in Texas. The Republican lawmaker died of COVID-19 in February.
"I think she's going to be great," Trump said. "She's really going to be tremendous. Her husband passed away. He was a great supporter of mine, and she's running for his seat."
He added that there are many people eyeing congressional seats in 2022, and he's "looking at the right people to endorse."
"I think that when I endorse people, it means a lot," said Trump. "We're going to have a great victory in '22."
He pointed out that Republicans are "literally a few votes short" of holding a House majority, and when voters look at the Democrats' actions, including the "Second Amendment being decimated," the "biggest tax increase in history" and more, they'll want control to switch.
"The jobs will stop immediately because those companies are going to leave our country when they have to pay these kinds of taxes," said Trump. "We had it all done. All they had to do was leave it alone but they couldn't do that. They don't want to give credit where credit is due. That's politics, I get it. They're very ungracious, there's no question about it."
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