Donald Trump once described Mitch McConnell as his “ace in the hole” and wrote, in a foreword to the Senate Republican leader’s autobiography, that he “couldn’t have asked for a better partner” in Washington.
Except, according to Trump, he didn’t.
Speaking to the Washington Post for a profile of the Senate minority leader published on Monday, Trump said he told McConnell: “‘Why don’t you write it for me and I’ll put it in, Mitch?’ Because that’s the way life works.”
McConnell did not dispute Trump’s account, about the book The Long Game, telling the paper: “I really don’t have anything to add related to him.”
The Post profile lands at a tricky time for Republican leaders. Last week’s stunning victory in the election for governor in Virginia was achieved by a candidate who kept Trump at arm’s length while deploying many of his tactics. But the former president remains a dominant presence, seemingly likely to run for the White House again.
He and McConnell, the two most powerful men in the GOP, are firmly at odds over Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen and over control of a party McConnell steers in the 50-50 Senate, which Democrats control via Vice-President Kamala Harris.
McConnell’s support for the bipartisan infrastructure deal which the House sent to Joe Biden’s desk on Friday only deepened the divide. In a statement on Sunday, Trump said “all Republicans who voted for Democrat longevity should be ashamed of themselves in particular, Mitch McConnell”.
Obama criticizes Trump in Cop26 remarks
Barack Obama addressed the Cop26 climate change conference today, opening with a cheery “Hello, Glasgow!”
The former US president, tieless and looking relaxed, said that he doesn’t need to attend such conferences anymore, but “you will have a hard time keeping me away” when it comes to the future of the planet.
Obama said “meaningful progress” has been made since the Paris climate accords, which he helped to strike, but he acknowledged that more needs to be done.
“What is also true, collectively and individually we are still falling short,” he said. “We have not done nearly enough to address this crisis, we will need to do more.”
Obama admitted that “some progress stalled” when Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Paris deal. “I wasn’t real happy about that,” he added, but said the “US is back” under Joe Biden’s leadership.
He also argued that, despite opposition within the Democratic party, some version of Biden’s ambitious $555bn climate package will pass in Congress in the coming weeks. “It will set the United States on course to meet its new climate targets,” he said.
Follow the Guardian’s live blog for more updates from Cop26: