Ted Lieu Defends Mitch McConnell After Donald Trump's Broadside

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) questioned Donald Trump's fierce criticism of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) after the former president issued a lengthy statement attacking him.

Reacting to Trump's statement, the progressive Democrat shared a tweet from President Joe Biden outlining the current administration's work on vaccines. "President Biden is working very hard on behalf of the American people," Lieu wrote.

"What is the former President doing? Calling the Senate GOP Leader names because McConnell rightfully concluded Trump provoked the deadly attack on our nation's Capitol.

"The contrast could not be greater."

Lieu, who was one of the House impeachment managers during Trump's recent trial, had previously said McConnell's comments after the trial showed "we proved our case."

"We showed Donald Trump incited insurrection. They just hung their vote on a willful misreading of the constitution," he said, speaking on MSNBC.

Trump had branded McConnell a "dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack," adding that "if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again."

The former president blamed the loss of the GOP's Senate majority on McConnell, suggesting his stance on stimulus checks had been at fault for the losses in Georgia.

His comments come after McConnell said Trump was "practically and morally responsible for provoking" the events of January 6, despite having voted to acquit the former president in his recent Senate impeachment trial.

McConnell said the decision to acquit was based on the constitutionality question of the trial, with many Republicans arguing the Senate no longer had jurisdiction after Trump had left office.

In a floor speech after Trump's acquittal, McConnell said that while he did not think the Senate had constitutional authority for the impeachment trial, the former commander-in-chief was "still liable for everything he did while in office."

He also suggested there could be consequences down the line, adding: "He didn't get away with anything yet. We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation."

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday, McConnell also made criticisms of Trump, stating he "bears moral responsibility" for the Capitol attack. However, he again defended his vote to acquit as being a move to act in line with the constitution.

Trump's latest attack on McConnell comes after he previously hit out at the veteran senator for accepting Biden's presidential victory while he was still pushing against it. At the time, Trump said the Republican Party "must learn to fight."

In his latest statement, Trump made similar comments about the GOP and said: "The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political 'leaders' like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm.

"McConnell's dedication to business as usual, status quo policies, together with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality, has rapidly driven him from Majority Leader to Minority Leader, and it will only get worse."

As well as Trump's criticism, several Republican members of Congress have also turned on McConnell after his comments against Trump.

Newsweek has contacted Lieu, McConnell, and the Office of the Former President for further comment.

ted lieu arrives at capitol
House Impeachment Manager, Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA), arrives at the U.S. Capitol for the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump, on February 13, 2021. He has questioned the former president's criticism of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images