Sen. Lindsey Graham took a swipe at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday, saying the Kentucky Republican must have a “working relationship” with former President Donald Trump to remain the GOP’s leader in the upper chamber of Congress.
Graham (R-SC), a staunch Trump ally, told Fox News host Sean Hannity that whoever becomes the next Senate Republican chief must get along with the 45th president, who Graham predicted would likely win the White House again in 2024.
“Elections are about the future,” Graham said. “If you want to be a Republican leader in the House or the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with President Donald Trump.”
Graham went on to lavishly praise Trump by calling him “the most consequential Republican since Ronald Reagan” and saying that the GOP nomination in 2024 is “his … if he wants it.”
Trump has not yet announced if he will run again for the White House, but has hinted that he will and teased a final decision to be made following the November midterm elections.
“But here’s the question, can Sen. McConnell effectively work with the leader of the Republican Party — Donald Trump?” Graham asked. “I’m not going to vote for anybody that can’t have a working relationship with President Trump, to be a team, to come up with an America-first agenda, to show the difference between us and liberal Democrats [and] prosecute the case for Trump policies.”
“Because if you can’t do that, you will fail,” he later added.
McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
McConnell, who has led the Senate Republican conference since 2007, has been lambasted by Trump in recent months as a “disaster” and a “Broken Old Crow.”
Last month, the 45th president pushed for Senate Republicans to have new leadership, after blaming McConnell for allowing Democrats to pass a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“Mitch McConnell is a disaster. The Republicans have to get a new leader. Mitch McConnell allowed this to happen. The ‘un-frastructure’ bill, I call it ‘un-frastructure,’ not infrastructure,” Trump told Maria Bartiromo on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
That same month, Trump blasted McConnell for not using the federal debt ceiling as leverage against President Biden’s social spending agenda.
“Mitch McConnell, the Broken Old Crow, has just conceded, for absolutely nothing and for no reason, the powerful Debt Ceiling negotiating block, which was the Republicans’ first-class ticket for victory over the Democrats,” Trump said in an emailed statement.
“He was afraid to play that card even though, without question, they would have completely FOLDED on the Build Back Worse Bill, which will destroy the fabric of our Country and virtually anything else that the Republicans wanted.”
McConnell has not shied away from criticizing the former president either, saying last year that Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the deadly Capitol riot.